Property division is crucial in a divorce. You want to protect your assets while being fair to your spouse. Texas is a community property state, which means, in most cases, property or money obtained during a marriage belongs to both spouses. Thus, anything garnered before marriage is considered separate property and may not be subject to division.
This guide provides information on Texas being a community property state and how it can affect your case.
What is considered community property?
Income from employment, including wages and benefits, real estate, unemployment compensation (lost wages or compensation for loss of earning capacity), retirement accounts, vehicles, debts and any other property acquired during a marriage, is considered community property. But there may be exceptions to this – gifts, compensation from personal injuries and inheritances may not be subject to division.
It’s easier to differentiate community and separate property. All you need to do is list those you had before marriage and those acquired afterward. You will also list the property acquired by gift, devise and descent while in the marriage. Lastly, have a category for recovery of money damages for personal injuries you suffered during the marriage period.
In some cases, you may reimburse your spouse for a separate property. For instance, if you purchased a car or house before the marriage but used community funds to pay the car or mortgage payments.
How will the court divide the property?
Every property division case is unique, but the court makes just and right decisions. Different factors will be considered when deciding. These include earning capacity of each spouse, children’s needs, if you have any, who gets custody, each spouse’s health and fault in the breakup of the marriage, if included in the divorce petition.
Property division can be complicated. It will be best to get professional guidance to avoid costly mistakes.