From the shared vehicles to the family home, you’re probably wondering what will be yours once your divorce is final. Understanding how Texas courts carry out the division of marital property can help you set your expectations.
Texas is one of the few states in the country that recognizes community property. This means that all property and assets that spouses collect throughout their marriage are subject to division during the divorce process. This is because state law outlines that both parties are equal owners of all marital property.
Separate and marital property
There are a few categories of property that you won’t risk losing through your divorce. Any property you had before marrying your spouse, personal gifts or inheritances are known as separate property. They will remain in your possession after marriage as long as you don’t mix them with marital property. For example, if you inherited a residential property from a relative and added your spouse’s name to the title, then the estate will become marital property.
To differentiate, here are some examples of marital property:
- Homes, cars or furniture you purchase while married
- Income each spouse earns through the course of marriage
- Retirement funds fed during marriage
And some examples of separate property include:
- Real estate purchased prior to marriage
- Gifts either party receives individually before or during marriage
- Family heirlooms
Property division in Texas
Even though 50% of all marital property is technically yours, you probably won’t end up with exactly half of it. Realistically speaking, if you and soon-to-be ex have three cars you’ve purchased throughout your marriage, you can’t divide them perfectly in half. Plus, there are many other factors that can create a property division that isn’t exactly even, including:
- The earning capacity of each party
- Cruelty or adultery committed by one spouse
- Age difference and impact on employability
- Physical health of each spouse
Every divorcing couple has a unique set of assets. But an experienced divorce attorney can help you come to a fair settlement.