If a divorcing couple does not have children, the most contentious divorce legal issue they will face at the end of their marriage will be that of property division. Ideally, the couple can agree with one another as to how they will divide their property, but this rarely happens and courts must decide how to divide it.
Texas is one of the few states that follow a community property system, which means that all the couple’s property is considered either marital property or separate property. This is opposed to an equitable distribution state, in which courts decide the fair distribution of splitting property between the divorcing couples.
When a couple divorces, typically, the community property is divided amongst them. Community property refers to all property and debts accumulated during the time the couple was married to one another.
Separate property on the other hand, refers to property that was acquired before the couple was married, and can include inheritances, pensions, gifts and court awards. Separate property remains the property of the spouse who came into the marriage with it.
However, things can get complicated when separate property becomes community property. This comingling of funds can take place if the business was started before the marriage, but the marriage sustained the business. If items are purchased or maintained with community property, they often end up becoming community property, which is why it is important to work on keeping separate
Many couples do not create agreements before or during the marriage, allocating the property between the spouses. This means they end up in court to decide property division in a divorce, and it may be helpful to have an experienced attorney by one’s side at that time to prove the ownership of the property.