Texas Divorce 101: How Texas Courts Determine Division of Assets
There are a lot of details to hammer out when it comes to getting divorced. Aside from figuring out where to live or determining a child custody schedule, a major facet of divorce has to do with the division of assets. In the state of Texas, there are very specific rules that govern how this process happens, and the details of the divorce might actually play a role in what each person receives. Let’s review what the division of assets looks like in the Lone Star State.
What Is Community Property?
Texas is considered to be a community property state, so it essentially adopts the idea of “what’s mine is yours.” This means that any property accumulated during the marriage – unless it falls into the specific exceptions for separate property – is owned jointly by the spouses and each have a right to receive a portion upon divorce. Separate property includes anything the parties brought into the marriage, as well as anything received during the marriage by gift or inheritance or – in certain cases – funds from a personal injury settlement, and such property cannot be divided by the court as it belongs separately to that party.
The Division Isn’t Always 50/50
The idea of community property and shared assets might make you think that during a divorce, all communal assets are divided equally between both parties. Yet in Texas, that’s not the stance the law takes.
Courts follow the idea of dividing property in a way that is “just and right.” While all attempts will be made to divide assets fairly, often times the details of the divorce will dictate otherwise. For example, if the fault of the divorce rests on one person, like in the case of infidelity, the other partner might receive more of the assets.
Other circumstances like health issues, custody, or future earning potential all play a part in how a couple’s assets and property are divided. Keep in mind this process occurs only when an amicable agreement cannot be made and the division is left for the courts to determine.
Specific Assets to Consider
Community property laws apply to more than just your home or bank accounts; in fact, items like a retirement plan, pensions, or ownership in a business will be divided using the “just and fair” method. It’s best to remember that essentially any asset is fair game, with the exception of items that are separate property. It is important to advise the Court of separate property assets so the Court can recognize the same and such assets aren’t divided by the Court or subjected to a post-divorce claim for the Court to divide an undivided asset.
Are you getting divorced and need help managing the division of your assets? Contact The Hollwarth Law Firm today to discuss your case and get the representation you need.