Divorcing couples must face a lot of difficult choices when ending their marriage. From child custody to spousal support, the changes can seem daunting. When it comes to property division, a couple may feel especially unprepared for what will take place in a Texas court.
Texas is a community property state, which means that all assets and debt acquired during a marriage must face division. Any property that a spouse can prove is solely owned by him or her is separate property and is not divided between both spouses.
What is community property?
Once a couple marries, anything that they obtain is part of their community property. This may include any of the following:
- Real estate
- Retirement accounts
Regardless of which spouse purchased these items or whose name is on the deed, the assets must get divided in a manner that is “just and right.” Property division in Texas is not always an exact 50/50 split, but the courts decide based on the rights of each spouse as well as the well-being of any children from the marriage.
What is separate property?
A spouse must prove that an asset or debt is separate property unless they both agree. Some of the most common types of separate property include inheritance, real estate one party owned prior to the marriage, capital gains on any investments considered separate property, and personal injury compensation that is not for medical expenses or lost wages.
If you and your spouse already agree on how to divide your property, a judge will not have to make the decisions for you. However, it is important to ensure that you have access to enough of the community property to be able to take care of yourself and your children.