When a married couple divorces, they must divide their marital property according to state law. Texas law uses the community property system, where all property acquired by either partner during the marriage becomes part of the community property of the marriage, with a few types of exceptions. This means that just about everything the couple owned together during the marriage must be divided according to state law. Community property can include bank accounts, investment accounts, automobiles and just about any other type of asset.
For many couples, the family home is the most valuable and important asset. Therefore, division of the home is often one of the most difficult parts of any property division process.
If the parties can't come to an agreement on their own, a court will decide how to divide ownership of the home. That's where the law can get tricky.
Texas law provides that the community property must be divided between the parties in a divorce, but it does not say this division must be 50-50. The court can consider a number of factors in determining how to divide the community property in a way that is fair. One factor is the ownership status of the asset at the moment it was acquired. This is known as the "inception of title" rule, and it means that, for instance, if one spouse owned the home before the marriage, he or she may have a claim to a greater share of the home in the event of a divorce.
Even for those who did not own a family home, property division is one of the most complicated aspects of the divorce process. Having the help of a skilled lawyer can be crucial to your chances of securing the financial resources you need to start on the right foot with your new, independent life.