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How Does Property Division Work?

Although technically a community property state, this is no guarantee that your property will be equally divided with your spouse during a divorce in Texas. What the judge sees as a fair allocation of the marital property may not be even down the middle. This is why it is so crucial to have legal representation from a Rockwell divorce attorney during divorce proceedings who can protect your rights.

Community property in Texas is all the property and debt which has been acquired by the couple during the course of their marriage. That means even if one spouse was the primary earner, their wages and anything they invested in for the family with those wages will be considered community property.

Separate property may be kept from being divided if it can be proved that it belonged to one of the spouses before entering into the marriage and was kept separate throughout.

What affects the division of property?

Marital property will be divided according to whatever the judge determines to be fair under the circumstances. This may very well be far from a 50-50 division, depending on certain factors.

Lopsided property divisions may result from:

  • Differences in the educational backgrounds of the spouses
  • Needs of the custodial spouse for support
  • Disparity in each spouse's earning capacities
  • Differences in the age and/or health of the spouses
  • What each spouse gave up in order to enter the marriage

While the behavior of one of the spouses can influence some judgments, this type of action is usually reserved for conduct that was intended to physically harm the other spouse. Financial misdeeds are also looked down upon, such as fraud or spending money on another lover, and can be punished by an unequal property division.

What about the home?

No separate rules govern the division of the marital home, but judges typically favor the idea of letting the custodial parent and children stay in the home, so long as they wish to and this is in their best interests. After the equity of the home is determined and the spouses agree to its current market value, debts associated with the home such as the mortgage, taxes, etc., are deducted from the value.

Couples may then sell the home and split the proceeds, one of the spouses can refinance the home and buy out the other spouse, or one spouse may remain in the house for a period of time before buying out the other spouse or selling the home to divide the proceeds.

Have questions about how your property will be divided? Call on The Law offices of J. Cameron Cowan today to discuss your divorce.