What Assets Will I Receive in the Divorce?
Texas is a community property state, so what does this mean for your divorce?
Getting divorced in Texas? You may have a lot on your mind. You may have questions such as, what will happen with the children? Where will I live? What assets will I receive?
In a Texas divorce, asset division is not simple. Texas is one of nine community property states. What this means is that all property acquired during the marriage is presumed to be shared equally by both spouses — so each person effectively gets a 50/50 share.
When it comes to community property, it does not matter whose name is on the title or whose name is on the bank account. If your husband’s name is on the title of the car, you still own half of it under Texas law. The same goes for anything in your name — your spouse can get their fair share in a divorce.
However, this applies to marital property only. Separate property is not split in a divorce. Separate property applies to assets acquired before the marriage, as well as gifts from a friend or family member and inheritances.
What Does 50/50 Mean?
While Texas is a community property state, the courts have held that a “just and right” division of assets is not necessarily 50/50. The courts do not automatically divide everything in half. Instead, they will consider various factors such as:
- Each spouse’s earning potential. If one spouse earns much more than the other, then the courts may award more assets to the lesser-earning spouse to make up for this discrepancy.
- Separate property of each spouse. If the husband has $1 million in separate property but the marital estate is worth much less, the courts may award more community property assets to the wife to compensate.
- Misuse of marital assets. If one spouse uses marital assets to support an affair, the courts may award more property to the victim spouse.
- Each party’s debt. The courts may look at the debt obligations of each party as well. If one spouse has the means to pay off the other spouse’s debts, the court may ask them to do so and compensate them with more assets.
- Each party’s desires. If one spouse wants the marital home or one spouse doesn’t want to split up a retirement account, the courts may agree as long as the other spouse gets additional assets instead.
In addition, the court will consider any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements in place. Texas courts will consider these legal documents to be valid if:
- Both parties voluntarily signed it.
- It does not create severe hardship for either party.
- It fully discloses the property and financial obligations of both spouses.
Contact a Pearland Divorce Attorney
No two divorces are the same. While Texas is a community property state, not everything may be split exactly 50/50. The court will ultimately decide what is fair based on various factors.