Texas Divorce: Dividing Property
Property division is often the most difficult part of any divorce. Understanding how the state of Texas handles the property division phase could greatly benefit those considering a divorce so they can make arrangements to protect their property.
First of all, Texas is a community property state, meaning all income and property acquired during the marriage is considered community property and belonging to the spouses equally. This income and property needs to be divided equitably upon a divorce.
To be able to keep some assets from being divided, you will need to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the property is not communal but separate.
Separate property is anything belonging to either spouse before entering into the marriage and which was kept separate throughout the marriage. This includes gifts made by a friend or family member made specifically to one of the spouses during the marriage such as an inheritance.
Income gained from a personal injury suit remains separate property belonging to the injured spouse unless it is intended to compensate for the loss of earning capacity.
What gets divided?
All property such as the family home, personal property such as jewelry, and intangible property such as income will need to be divided when the marriage ends, along with all marital debts.
If the court decides there is a good reason for an unequal distribution, it can weigh factors to find a distribution which would be more equal such as the ages, health, and education of the spouses along with their relative earning capacities. The court can even look at whether one spouse was at fault for causing the marriage to fail.
If you and your spouse can agree to a negotiated settlement, the court will usually recognize it as valid; otherwise the court will be forced to decide for you.
Speak with Coker, Robb & Cannon, Family Lawyers for critical advice and representation if you are concerned about protecting your assets during your divorce.