How Assets Are Divided During a Texas Divorce
Afraid of being left empty handed?
The end of a marriage is often a painful and emotional process. Often, legal technicalities can complicate things further. In order to avoid all the stress and drama, it’s very important to familiarize yourself with the laws pertaining to property division in your state. Texas is a community property state. This means that, according to Texas divorce law, all marital assets belong to both spouses and must be divided equally. But in some cases, if your divorce lawyer is able to provide “just and right reasons”, the court can order an unequal division of assets.
Community Property vs. Separate Property
The first step you should take when filing for divorce in Texas is to distinguish community property from separate property. Community property refers to the assets acquired by both spouses during a marriage. Separate property, however, is the property which belonged to only one spouse before the marriage, and was kept separate during the marriage. This can also include property that was only acquired by one spouse during the course of the marriage, like a gift or inheritance. All community property is divided equally, but if one spouse can prove with sufficient evidence that a certain asset is separate property, they are legally allowed to retain that asset. It is very important to discuss these matters with your divorce lawyer.
Factors Affecting Unequal Property Division
While most property is divided equally, excluding separate property, the court also approaches property division in “just and right” manner. This means that the judge can use their discretion to divide property however they see fair. Usually, when there are children involved, the court can rule an unequal property division. This can be for a number of reasons:
Childcare responsibilities and custody
The financial needs of the spouse and children after the divorce
Disparity in the spouses’ earning capacity
Differences in age and health
Differences in educational background
Texas divorce law is rather complex. There are no clear-cut rules on how property division takes place, and a lot is left to the court’s discretion. To better understand the laws of asset division, speak to your divorce lawyer. Book a Free Consultation to find out more, call 817-377-1077.