Whether you’ve been married for less than five years or more than twenty, divorce is a difficult and emotional undertaking. As you file for divorce, one of the biggest questions you may have is: how do we split our property?

Before you determine how to separate your most valuable assets, it’s essential to know how your state categorizes said assets. Texas is a community property state, which means everything you and your spouse have collected during your marriage belong to both of you. This is the property you will have to split between yourselves. These assets can be any of the following:

  • Money
  • Homes
  • Vehicles (such as cars and boats)
  • Businesses
  • Pension plans
  • Investments
  • Household items (such as furniture, artwork, etc.)

However, not all property is community property. There is also separate property.

If you and your spouse have been living separately before your divorce, anything you acquire individually during that separation may be separate property and, therefore, not eligible for division. Likewise, anything that you had already owned before your marriage is likely your separate property.

Things to consider as you move forward

As you plan out your divorce, you will need to consider everything in your community property and decide who gets to keep what item. For example, together, you can agree that your spouse will keep the car, but you will keep the boat.

Property such as a home or retirement plan may be more difficult to split, so work with your spouse and your attorneys to determine the best option – otherwise, the court may decide for you. Typically, for community property states like Texas, the court will divide your collected assets in half equally.

If you want more control over your property division, it’s ideal to pursue an uncontested divorce, meaning that you and your spouse will agree on the terms and conditions together. An uncontested divorce is also typically less expensive, less complicated, and less likely to reach the court overall.

Understanding these basics of the property division in Texas can help you navigate the process more easily and make informed, judicious decisions.