One of the critical issues to be decided in a Texas divorce is the division of marital property. Property division in a Texas divorce is done based on specific laws, and the division will not necessarily be fifty percent to each party. Learn more below about how property division in a Texas divorce is handled. If you need assistance in your divorce case, please speak to our Dallas property division lawyer at Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson today.
Understanding Property Division In Texas
Texas is one of the country’s nine states that follow “community property” laws for dividing parties’ marital estates. During a divorce, the court will deem all property as either “community” or “separate.” Unless there is a valid agreement between the spouses to the contrary, any property they acquired during the marriage is rebuttably presumed to be community property.
Community property is subject to division and allocation by the family law court hearing the parties’ divorce. Although many Texans assume that a community property state would divide everything 50-50, that is usually not true. Instead, the court divides the property in a way it deems “just and right” after considering the testimony and evidence put before it.
Texas family courts start the property division process by determining what the community and separate properties belonging to the parties are. Once it is determined what is community property, the court will review the following factors (among others) to divide the assets between the spouses:
- How long was the marriage
- The difference in income between the spouses
- Whether there are children in the marriage and the possession schedule
- The health condition of each spouse
- Each person’s educational background
- The business opportunities of the spouses
- Whether either spouse was at fault for the marriage ending
Keep in mind that the court’s property division hearings will divide assets in a just and right manner, and debts will be functionally divided in a similar (“fair and equitable”) manner. If your husband is responsible for a specific debt after the property division hearings are concluded, it is vital to ensure your name is no longer on that debt. Third-party creditors are generally not bound by the terms of your Final Decree of Divorce, and harm could come in the form of judgments against you or damage to your credit score.
As the court decides how to divide the community property, it will review the factors listed above and other information it thinks is relevant. For example, there are situations where it may be appropriate to divide the assets 50-50, but others could be split 60-40, 70-30, 80-20, etc.
What Kinds Of Property Are Divided In A Texas Divorce?
Anything that is deemed community property by the court is subject to property division.
These can include:
- Real estate
- Personal belongings
- Intellectual property
- Gifts and inheritances
- Retirement accounts
- Stocks and stock options
- Marital debt
- Retail property
- Deferred compensation plans
- Trust assets
- Life insurance
Does Fault Affect Texas Property Division?
Texas adheres to both “fault” and “no-fault” divorce laws. A no-fault divorce means that the marriage broke down and there is no chance of reconciliation. In this kind of divorce, fault is not considered during the process. However, if a spouse’s wrongdoing contributed to the marriage ending, it could affect the property division.
Fault may especially play a part in an ordered property division when significant marital property is used to pay for a substance abuse problem or extramarital affair. The court may decide that the spouse who did not cause the breakup deserves to be compensated for the marital funds they did not enjoy a benefit.
Contact Our Dallas Property Division Lawyer Today
For property division in a Texas divorce, you need a skilled attorney advocating for you. Please contact our Dallas property division lawyer at Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson at (214) 273-2400 for assistance.