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How is Property Divided in a Texas Divorce?

Posted on in Asset and Debt Division

How is Property Divided in a Texas Divorce?Depending on where you reside, the terms of your divorce proceedings can differ. The area that most commonly changes depending on which state you are in is the property division process. There are two different manners in which property is divided: community property division or equitable property division. Texas is a community division state, meaning any property that you obtain after you say “I do” is considered both spouses’ property. It is important to understand what is considered yours, theirs, and ours if you are considering filing for divorce in Texas.

Community Property vs. Equitable Division

Texas is one of the nine states in the U.S. that follows community property division laws. Some see this as a benefit for divorcing couples while others may think they are entitled to more of their assets based on their earning capacity and what they have brought into the marriage. In community property division states, all property obtained throughout the marriage is considered the property of both spouses and a judge will cut the property in half during the divorce proceedings. This can be beneficial to the spouse who is lower-earning and did not have as heavy of a hand in earning the couple’s savings or accruing their various properties, but the other spouse may see this arrangement as unfair.

Unlike community property states, equitable division of property requires a more hands-on approach from judges who are involved in the divorce proceedings. This type of property division focuses more on dividing things based on “fairness” than evenness. These judges will look at the other details of their marriage, such as each spouse’s earning capacity or role in the marriage, before dividing things between them. Some view equitable division as unfair since things are done equitably, not equally.

Separate Property

As someone living in a community property state, you may be wondering if anything is truly yours. Texas law outlines what is considered separate property so that couples do not give up everything as soon as they walk down the aisle. There are three categories named as separate properties by Texas law:

  • Any property owned or claimed by either spouse before the marriage.
  • Any property obtained by either spouse by gift, descent, or devise during the marriage.
  • Any compensation received from a personal injury claim that occurred during the marriage aside from any compensation for lost work time or earning capacity.

Almost everything earned throughout your marriage is considered to belong to both you and your spouse in the instance of divorce. One way to protect yourself is to sign a prenuptial agreement before getting married. This can help you define what is yours and what is theirs to relieve the stress that can come with divorce in a community property division state. Aside from signing a prenup, working with a reputable divorce lawyer is your best option for getting what is rightfully yours.

Contact a Houston Division of Assets Attorney

Filing for divorce is one of the most stressful situations that you will find yourself in. Add in the intricacies of property division and you may not know where to begin. Financial discussions during your divorce will likely be more contentious than any other area of the process, especially in a community property division state. At The Foray Firm, our seasoned professionals are well-equipped to take on your divorce case and assist you with the property division process. We fight for our clients’ rights, making sure the line between their separate and community property is well-defined. For help with your divorce, contact our Katy property division lawyers at 832-919-6400 today.

Sources:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.3.htm

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/why-where-you-divorce-mat_b_3824647 

state bar of texas The National Bar Association AILA Fort Bend County HLA
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