Divorce property division is different in Texas

In many states, divorce courts divide assets based on a theory of equitable distribution. This means there is an attempt to give both spouses a fair share. 

This is not the case in Texas. Here, property division follows a slightly different set of guidelines. 

Community property

Texas is a community property state. As explained on FindLaw, this is somewhat rare — only eight other states have these types of divorce laws. 

Property in the system has two classifications: community and separate. Examples of the community type could include wages from during the marriage, family homes the couple bought together, shared bank accounts and so on. Separate property, under Texas law, could include the following categories of assets: 

  • Property from before the marriage 
  • Inheritance 
  • Assets from divisions 
  • Personal gifts 

Certain types of accounting practices could blur the line between separate and community property. For example, the presence of a cash gift to a single spouse in a shared bank account could necessitate some discussion during divorce. 

Division process

FindLaw also goes into some detail on the process of property division in Texas. The state is somewhat unique in that it combines community property laws with equitable division in some cases. 

One of the results of this system is that the court has some special duties in certain circumstances. For example, if both spouses claimed in writing that recent wages were their own separate property, the court would still confirm this. 

In short, Texas is an example that community property laws do not always follow a 50-50 property division procedure. Here, courts try to reach an agreement that is fair for both spouses and any children from the marriage. 

FindLaw Network
Heidi L. Heinrich
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