Mia Romar is a Texas Native, Pearland resident  

and a Realtor at RE/MAX Top Realty.  For more 

information on Mia  or Selling/Buying a home,  

call Mia at 713-558-2518, 281-384-4618 or visit 


To Advertise Call 281.520.4044   www.brownbagvalues.com

Need a Website? Call 281.520.4044   www.brownbagvalues.com



Common marital property rights situations and questions arise in property 

sales.  When does my spouse have to sign? Can I sell if I’m in the middle of a 

divorce?  What’s the difference between community and separate property?  
Thanks to professional advice from legal experts, and my own transactional 

experiences over the years, I can share some of what I’ve learned for common 

situations. While there is always more to learn, and consulting an attorney 

is best, employing these basic principles have aided in avoiding last minute 

closing dilemmas.   

When does my spouse have to sign?

When a realtor shows up to list your homestead and you’re married, even 

though you might be separated, both spouses often need to sign the listing 

and sales contracts. Texas is a community property state. A spouse not being 

on title does not necessarily preclude the need for their signature on contracts. 

Issuing title insurance can be a dilemma if a title search locates a record of a 

marriage yet only one spouse shows up at closing to sign documents.   
In situations of spousal location challenges such as incarceration or overseas 

assignments this can be difficult if proper pre-planning is not done. One 

remedy for this has been for the local spouse to secure a real estate power of 

attorney to sign contracts on behalf of that spouse in remote location.  
Other mitigating measures like partition, pre-nuptial or post nuptial agree-

ments could help. Consult your attorney for the best solution.

Can I sell or buy if I’m in the middle of a divorce?

It’s complicated and may be better not. There could be temporary restrain-

ing orders or injuctions which prohibit it. Experiences with prior clients and 

direction given from attorney colleagues suggests this is a not a good idea.

So what’s the difference between community and separate property anyway? 

Consider the following:

 Community Property:

Texas Family Code Sec 3.003: All property owned by a married couple is 

  presumed community property on divorce or death unless proven otherwise.

 Separate Property:

• Owned before marriage.

• Inherited or Received as a gift.

• Personal injury proceeds for pain.

• Property purchased with separate funds.

• Divided by written agreement - Pre-nuptial/Postnuptial/Partition
There is much to consider and this just touches the surface on the 

subject of marital property rights. In short, know your property rights 

then buy and sell.

Marital Property Rights

by Mia Romar, Realtor