Last time, we began looking at how property division works in Texas. As we noted, Texas is a community property state in which judges have the ability to order a “just and right” division of assets.
State law identifies special rules to be applied in the identification of community property with respect to gifts between spouses, certain employee benefits and insurance proceeds, and property owned by marital estates. Special rules also apply to the division of certain types of certain types of property under special circumstances.
Special rules also apply to the division of retirement and employment benefits, as well as other plans and insurance proceeds. In future posts, we’ll look a bit more at how these types of assets are divided in a Texas divorce.
Important to point out in this discussion is that couples do have the ability to enter into a written agreement regarding the division of their property and liabilities, as well as spousal maintenance. Courts will accept these agreements if the terms are found to be “just and right”, and are able to request a revised agreement or set a case for a contested hearing if the terms are deemed unfair. Couples who are able to work together to come up with a property division agreement–whether on their own, through mediation or some other non-adversarial means–can benefit from doing so.
It should also be kept in mind that couples do have the ability to take control of how their property is categorized (separate or marital) and divided in the event of divorce by negotiating a prenuptial agreement. We’ll say more about this in a future post.
Source: Texas Family Code: Sec. 3.0001-3.419 and Sec. 7.001-7.009