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How property is divided in a Texas divorce

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2021 | Family Law |

Divorce is a source of high emotional and financial stress. Not only are both partners going through the emotional pangs of separating and starting new romantic relationships, but both must consider their future financial circumstances.

The division of assets can be particularly stressful. What happens when one individual has better earning potential? What about lucrative assets? Many questions can arise as to how fate may be decided.

Community property

Texas is a community property state. This means that assets divided during a divorce are limited to those assets acquired during a marriage. For instance, if one spouse owned or had purchased a home before the marriage occurred, that property is solely owned by the original purchaser. However, if a couple had purchased a house after marriage, ownership of that property may be transferred to either spouse, depending on the court’s ruling.

Community assets are typically divided equally. If one spouse is left with a high-value asset such as a house, the other may receive other high-value assets roughly equivalent such as stock shares, savings accounts, vehicles, etc. In a contested divorce, if a judge determines that an equal property division will leave one spouse worse off than the other in a divorce, they may disproportionately divide community property.

Out of court property settlements

Couples wishing for greater control over the division of martial assets may elect to make an out of court settlement. These settlements can be done with one lawyer mediating the divorcing couple or two lawyers representing each couple. Settlements can alleviate much of the stress that may come from worry that a judge will divide assets contrary to what reflects a couple’s best interests.