Most American states use the equitable distribution system to address property division in a divorce. This means that the court divides a couple’s property in a way that it deems fair and equitable. Texas is one of only nine states that use the community property system to settle marital assets.
To put it in simple terms, community property gives each spouse equal ownership of all property acquired throughout the marriage. If you are like many of our blog readers, you probably think this means that you and your spouse can split your assets fairly right down the middle. Sometimes, divorce does not result in a 50-50 distribution because some assets are actually separate property.
Texas courts will exclude from property division any assets owned by each spouse separately. Examples of separate property include:
- Any gifts an individual spouse receives before or during a marriage
- Any inheritances an individual spouse receives before or during a marriage
- Property that both spouses agree is separate in writing
- Property one spouse purchased with his or her separate property assets
We also want you to know about another important factor that could result in an unequal property split. If your spouse has custody of your children, he or she may receive a greater share of your community property. Courts do this to ensure that any children of the marriage get the same fair treatment that spouses are entitled to in a divorce.
As you can see, property division is not the relatively simple process it was in bygone days. If your divorce involves valuable assets, please visit us online to learn more about Texas property division.