If you’ve been married for any length of time, you and your spouse have likely acquired a lot of “stuff.” For example, there could be large property and assets like homes, cars, land, and even a joint business venture. And then there’s everything else — furniture, collectibles, shared bank accounts, investments, airline miles, etc. It all adds up pretty quickly, which begs the question: how will all of that property be divided now that we have decided to get a divorce?
This is a common question among families we counsel at Christman Ramsey & Foster, PC. After all, what was once “both of yours” could suddenly be “just his” or “hers” after a divorce. And it’s only natural for both parties to want to be informed.
Without getting too technical, here is a brief explanation of how property division works in a Texas divorce.
Classifying property in Texas — Did it come before the marriage or during the marriage?
Texas classifies itself as a community property state when it comes to family law. This means property acquired during your marriage (with a few exceptions) is presumed to be equally owned by both spouses and must be divided when the marriage ends. But before a Texas court can begin dividing property, it must first classify all assets as separate property or community property.
The Texas Family Code defines separate property as any assets you owned before the marriage, acquired during the marriage as a gift from a third party or an inheritance, or were awarded during your marriage as damages from a personal injury case.
These items cannot be divided, and in many cases, it is up to you to prove that specific property should be classified as separate.
For the most part, anything else is classified as community property and subject to community property guidelines.
Don’t bet on a 50/50 split
Many people assume with property division that there will be a 50/50 split between spouses. In reality, it is the court’s responsibility to divide everything that has been classified as community property in a manner that is “just and right” for both parties. Unless spouses come together and mutually agree to specific property division terms, the court will base its decision on several factors:
A few factors the court uses to determine what is just and right for property division in a Texas divorce include but aren’t limited to:
- Differences in each spouse’s earnings
- The length of the marriage
- The nature of the property being divided
- Who has custody over the children
- Who is at fault for the marriage ending
- Health of each spouse
When it comes to property division in Texas, it is important, when possible, for divorcing spouses to find common ground on many of these important decisions. If not, the court’s version of what is just and right may not match yours. Our mission is to provide our clients with long-range perspectives and outstanding legal advice that help them rebuild their families after marital dissolution.
Some cases require aggressive advocacy where we must deliver the righteous blow of justice, while others require patience, de-escalation, and diplomatic solutions. At Christman Ramsey & Foster, PC, some of our primary goals are to protect our client’s interests, equip them for a difficult journey, and deliver skilled and expert legal advocacy and advice.
Please call Christman Ramsey & Foster, PC, for your legal needs today!
Please consult an attorney for advice about your individual situation. The material on this website and in this or any blog article we publish are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. The attorneys at Christman Ramsey & Foster, PC believe in tailoring legal advice and solutions to your own personal circumstances.
We have an unwavering commitment to helping our clients at each stage of their legal situation.