During a divorce, one of the most heated debates that can arise is the division of the spouse's community property. In some cases, one spouse may believe that since they acquired the property, they should be able to keep it. However, in Texas, property is divided according to community property laws - which generally means a fairly equal split among the divorcing parties. That being said, there are some exceptions to the law.
Dividing Assets in a Texas Divorce
When it comes to dividing property in a divorce, the Court must follow strict guidelines. While community property is almost always split evenly, separate property is not. Separate property includes assets acquired prior to marriage, inheritances and gifts, or was the result of personal injuries sustained while married (except when it results in lost earning capacity). The spouse who acquired the separate property has the right to keep it after a divorce.
In terms of community property, there may also be some exceptions to the 50/50 split. Under Texas family laws, the Court must divide property in a manner that they deem "just and right," depending on the couple's unique situation. This means the Court has the discretion to approve or disapprove of any division of property, meaning it doesn't always have to be split 50/50.
To determine how to split property in a "just and right" way, Texas courts will look at various factors to make their decision. These factors may include:
- Each spouses' earning capacities and abilities
- If either spouse has current business opportunities
- Each spouse's level of education and skills needed to work after the divorce
- Each spouse's mental and physical health
- The age of each party
- What each spouse's financial circumstances and obligations will be after divorce
- The size of each parties' separate estate
- Whether alimony is being ordered
- Whether fault had anything to do with the breakdown of the marriage
- Anything else the court deems relevant to the case
Each judge will weigh these various factors and more to determine what is most important in determining a fair division of community property. After hearing each side's case and looking at the evidence, they will determine what is just and right.
Therefore, it is essential to be prepared for the property division process during your divorce. Make sure you consult with your attorney about any evidence you have about why certain property should be kept with you and whether any factors could potentially impact the division of your assets.
If you need assistance with dividing your property, The Law Office of Rebecca J. Carrillo is available to assist. Call our firm today at (210) 405-6623 to discuss your case with our San Antonio divorce lawyers.