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What do I need to know about property division in a Texas divorce?

Nov 16, 2021 | Divorce

Before proceeding with a divorce, you need to know that you will be financially stable after your marriage is over. Fortunately, under Texas divorce law, you are entitled to a fair share of the wealth you and your spouse currently own, whether you earn an income or work as the primary homemaker.

Like some (but not most) states, Texas practices community property distribution in divorce — at least, technically. Most community property states require divorcing spouses to split community property 50-50 between them. The key step in many high-asset divorces is figuring out what is community property (generally, things acquired during the marriage) and what is separate property (things that belong to you or your spouse alone).

Texas’ version of community property division

However, Texas’ version of community property division adds an extra wrinkle. Instead of a strictly even division of community assets and debts, state law requires that the division be “just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage.” The “just and right” requirement means that if the spouses cannot settle and the judge must decide on property division, they must take the individual context of the marriage into consideration. Factors include:

  • How long the marriage lasted
  • Each spouse’s health and education level
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity
  • The nature of the assets being divided

This brings Texas closer to the method that most states use, which is called equitable distribution. Those states require property division to be fair and reasonable, not necessarily equal.

Dividing up assets in your divorce does not have to be a long, dragged-out process that ends with an unfair share of the wealth for you. With the proper preparation, and if your ex is willing, a reasonable settlement is possible.