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How is property divided during a Texas divorce?

If you have decided to file for divorce, you likely have many questions about the future.  One of your main concerns may be who will get to keep your home and other assets.  Dividing property between two divorcing spouses is always a complicated matter.  With a contentious divorce, property division can become even more difficult.  Our Midland, Texas, family law lawyers offer an overview of property division in Texas.  For assistance with your individualized divorce case, contact our experienced family law attorneys.  

Separate vs Community Property in Texas

Texas is a community property state, meaning that all property or debt acquired during the marriage belongs to both parties.  Spouses can contract around community property laws with a valid prenuptial agreement, but absent this, property obtained during the marriage will be split between the divorcing spouses in a fair manner.  Property owned by a spouse before the marriage or a separate inheritance received during the marriage will generally remain the property of that spouse alone.  

“Just and Right” Division

Once it is determined what community property must be divided between the spouses, the next issue is who should receive what.  You and your spouse have the option of reaching an agreement between the two of you as to who should receive what property.  Achieving a divorce settlement can keep you in control of the process and expedite the divorce.

If you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse cannot agree on property division, it will be up to the judge.  Texas law orders the court to divide the community property of the parties in a manner that the court deems “just and right.”  What is just and right will depend on several critical factors, including:

  • The earning capacity of both spouses;
  • Education level of both spouses;
  • Your health and age;
  • Who is awarded custody of the children;
  • The amount of separate property you have as compared to your spouse;
  • How long you were married;
  • Any fault in the breakdown of the marriage;
  • Waste of assets during the marriage; and
  • The nature of the property to be divided.

These are just a few relevant factors that a court could consider.  Your family law attorney will advocate on your behalf to see that you receive an equitable portion of the community property to which you are entitled.