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How do Texas couples divide their property during divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2023 | Asset Division

After years or maybe even decades of living together and sharing finances, it can be quite a challenge for divorcing couples to divide their property as part of a Texas divorce. Splitting one’s resources with a spouse can be a very stressful prospect, especially if there are major differences in the earning potential of each spouse.

Some people worry about giving up too much to someone who didn’t contribute to the household or they fear having a drastically diminished standard of living after their divorce. Thankfully, those who understand how Texas divides property will likely feel less frightened about the prospect of dissolution proceedings.

Texas has a community property law

Each state has unique statutes that determine how married couples share their property when they divorce. Texas, along with a few other states, uses a community property approach to divide assets. However, the Texas approach to community property is different than what people expect.

It does not always result in a 50/50 division of property and assets. A judge can award one spouse far more of the marital or community property or make them responsible for more of the shared debts based on what they think is fair. Factors ranging from the length of the marriage and the health of each spouse to their earning potential and separate property will influence what a judge decides is appropriate and fair when dividing income and assets that the couple acquired during the marriage.

Texas couples have the option of settling

Some couples already have a signed marital agreement that provides clear instructions for the division of marital property. Others may feel very strongly about protecting specific assets, like their home or a business, and that will give them an incentive to cooperate with their spouse. So long as both spouses agree on the terms, they can potentially negotiate their own settlement for property division and then have a judge simply review and approve their terms. Those who cannot agree will then need to litigate, which means a judge will make the final decision about who keeps what from the marital estate.

Learning the rules that apply in Texas may help people better predict what will happen when they file for divorce. Seeking legal guidance is generally a good place to start.