How Is Property Division Decided In Texas Divorce?

Property Division Lawyer

In a divorce, disagreements are often about how to divide marital property. Understanding how Texas views marital property and its division can give you more confidence as your divorce case proceeds.

Learn here about how property is divided in a Texas divorce. If you have property division questions, please contact the Dallas property division lawyers at Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson.

Community Property Laws In Texas

Texas community property laws are followed in a Texas divorce. To describe this in short, all property acquired jointly during the marriage is considered at the start to be equally owned. The Court then must fairly divide the property between the partners, on a basis that the judge determines to be “just and right”. It is irrelevant if the property in question is held in one spouse’s name instead of the other, as long as it was obtained or accrued during the marriage.

Community property that must be justly divided during a divorce may include:

  • Bank accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Investment accounts
  • Real estate
  • Precious metals

Further, marital debts that were incurred during the union are also treated as belonging to the community property estate. While there are certainly complications surrounding third-party creditors, debts of the parties must also be divided during a divorce case.

What Is Separate Property?

One of the most important property-related questions in many divorces is: what is considered the separate property of each spouse? Separate property, generally speaking, is that which fits one of the following categories:

  • It was owned by one spouse before the union;
  • It was acquired by one partner during the marriage from an inheritance or gift; or
  • It was gained through a personal injury lawsuit settlement or to compensate for certain types of disability claims (recovery for lost wages excepted).

An asset proven to be a separate property will be considered separate property during and after the divorce.

What Is Commingled Property?

While the Court must divide community property in a just and right manner, and separate property belongs to only one partner, there are situations where an item or account may have both community and separate property portions. This can make it quite challenging to determine its status and ultimate ownership. If it is impossible to review the asset’s history to determine who owns it, it will generally be presumed to be community property.

However, consulting with legal counsel can help you to determine whether or not you may be in that situation—or whether you may yet be able to salvage a separate property interest in a certain piece of property.

What If The Spouses Disagree On How To Divide Debt And Property?

If you and your partner cannot agree on an equitable way to divide community debt and property, the judge presiding over your case will divide the estate in a manner they consider appropriate. This is often close to 50/50, but not necessarily. In a complicated property situation, a skilled property division attorney can be extremely valuable for your case. For example, your divorce attorney may be able to successfully argue that a property that is presumed to be jointly owned was actually brought by you to the marriage—and is therefore not able to be divided by the Court.

Contact Dallas Property Division Lawyers Now

During a Texas divorce, property division will follow the relevant community property laws. Marital property should always be divided by the Court in Texas divorces, but the split may not be 50/50 between the parties. Determining what is separate property–and therefore not subject to division–can be complicated. You need a skilled Texas property division attorney to help.

The attorneys at Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson can assist you with negotiating a reasonable property division agreement, or we can succeed at trial if all else fails. Our attorneys serve the cities of Dallas, Frisco, and San Antonio. Please contact our Dallas property division lawyers at (214) 273-2400.