Couples going through a divorce have many issues to sort out before the dissolution can be finalized. During the Texas divorce process, you will have to face child custody and child support agreements, as well as property and financial issues. One of the most contentious aspects of divorce can be determining how your assets will be split, otherwise known as property division.
This time in your life is already hard, and dividing your assets makes it more stressful, which is why it’s crucial that you understand how property division works in Texas. This helps protect the assets you’ve worked hard for and allows you the opportunity to be more prepared during your case.
When a couple chooses to get divorced, they will have to decide how to divide their assets. This process is known as property division and can be one of the most complicated parts of a divorce trial. Texas courts can divide assets in any way they see as “just and right” for each spouse, meaning assets do not have to be evenly split.
Texas considers two types of property: community and separate property. Community property can be divided, while the separate property cannot.
Community property is any property acquired during the marriage that belongs to both spouses. Regardless of names on titles or which spouse’s income was used to purchase an asset, it is still considered community property.
- Income received during the marriage
- Retirement plans
- Real estate
- Debts acquired
- Tangible assets like cars, jewelry, and furniture
On the other hand, separate property cannot be divided in the state of Texas. Separate property is often anything that the spouse owned or claimed prior to getting married. It can also be gifts, inheritances, or certain real estate that was gifted to the spouse. If the spouse wants to keep an asset, they must be able to prove it was acquired before the marriage.
A common issue in property division cases is determining which assets are considered separate or community property. Sometimes spouses forget when items were purchased. In a situation like this, an experienced divorce attorney, along with a financial advisor, can help you distinguish your assets.
While a judge may decide to split property evenly, they can choose to split it unevenly if they think it’s fair. When courts determine how to split property, they will look at a range of factors.
Texas courts allow spouses to file for a fault or no-fault based divorce. One reason a court may choose to split the assets unevenly is if the divorce is fault based. If one of the spouses is considered to be primarily at fault for the dissolution of the marriage, the other spouse can file for fault-based grounds for divorce in Texas. Fault-based cases can include adultery, cruelty, abandonment, or a conviction of a felony. In addition to this, courts may look at the following factors when deciding how to split property:
- Each spouse’s earning capabilities
- Custody of children
- The physical condition and the health of each spouse
- The age of each spouse
- Spousal support obligations
- Benefits each party would have received if the marriage had continued
- Property created from one spouse’s pre-marital assets
- Debts acquired by each spouse
- Any other factors the court deems relevant
At Parchman Law, we understand that going through a divorce is difficult. Adding in the fact that you have to divide your property doesn’t make the situation any easier. We want you to know that you are not alone in this process. We are here to help protect you and your rights during this frustrating time.
Our Woodlands divorce attorneys are available 24/7 for a free initial consultation. We will diligently fight to make sure your goals are met, and that you get your fair share of assets.
Contact Parchman Law Group for aggressive legal representation today at (713) 364-0777!