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State Bar of Texas

How is Property Divided in a Divorce?

Jerry W. Tidwell, Jr.
How is Property Divided in a Divorce?

When it comes to divorce, splitting assets is one of the most contentious aspects of the split. Choosing not to live together and to get the divorce may be easy to agree on, but when it comes time to split marital assets, many couples wind up in a nasty battle.

If you and your soon-to-be ex can agree on property distribution, it can help make the divorce go a little more smoothly.

If you have questions about how assets are divided in a divorce, it’s important to talk with a Texas divorce attorney. Each divorce is unique, and different factors can influence how the courts will rule. At Tidwell Law Firm, PLLC, our family law attorneys have experience in Texas divorces and can walk you through how assets will be handled.

How is Property Divided in a Texas Divorce?

Texas is one of a handful of states that follows the community property rule. This means that all property acquired during the marriage will belong to both spouses and will need to be divided during the divorce. Separate property will remain in possession of who had it before the marriage. In theory, property is split 50/50, but the law requires that the property division must be equitable. Circumstances will vary from couple to couple, and the court will consider factors like who had the fault in the marriage ending, each party’s health, each spouse’s education, disparity of earning potential between spouses, etc.

What is Community Property?

Not surprisingly, couples want to know ‘how are assets are divided in a divorce?’ The law in Texas says that anything acquired during the marriage is community property. Separate property is not only what the spouse had prior to the marriage, but also anything that only one spouse receives as a gift. In addition, any settlement for personal injuries sustained by only one spouse will be separate property, except for any portion that was intended to compensate for lost wages during the marriage.

There is a presumption that all property is community property unless someone claims it is separate property and can show it through a preponderance of evidence.

Process for Distributing Assets During the Divorce

There is a general process for how assets are distributed during a Texas divorce. You will start by establishing all the property that exists. Next you will determine what assets are subject to community property rules. This is where a Texas divorce attorney can be an important advocate for you. You will then decide on a value for the assets that will be divided under community property rules. You may need to use experts, like a forensic accountant, who can help arrive at a value.

During the “just and right” division, some factors like who will have custody of the children, whether one spouse has a disability, etc., will be taken into consideration.

Contact a Texas Divorce Attorney

If you have questions or need an attorney to represent you in your Texas divorce, contact the Tidwell Law Firm, PLLC. Let one of our skilled family law attorneys help protect your rights and ensure the divorce settlement is fair and equitable.

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