For people going through a divorce, one of the biggest concerns is the division of property. It is important to understand how this is handled in Texas.
Texas Is A Community Property State
Regardless of who purchased it or whose name is on it, the majority of property obtained during the marriage is considered community property. It belongs to both spouses and is subject to division during a divorce.
Property obtained before the marriage is considered separate property. Inheritances, gifts and awards from personal injury claims are also considered separate property, regardless of when they were obtained. Separate property is not subject to division during a divorce. However, each spouse must prove that the property is indeed separate.
Just And Right Division Of Community Property
Under Texas law, community property must be divided in a manner that is just and right. This does not necessarily mean that property will be divided equally. The circumstances must be taken into consideration. Circumstances that could impact how property is divided include differences in income, each spouse's health, child custody arrangements and even who was at fault in the ending of the marriage.
Who Decides What Is Just And Right?
Spouses can work together to negotiate how community property will be divided. Techniques like mediation may be employed. If spouses cannot work together, the matter may be taken to trial for a judge to decide what is just and right. In either case, people going through a divorce can benefit from the guidance of an experienced attorney.
An attorney will review your case and help you bring all factors to light that may influence how property should be divided. An attorney will identify and protect your separate property. An attorney will explore the many nuances involved in property division, from who gets the family home to dividing retirement benefits and businesses. The goal is to help you transition comfortably into your new life.