Texas is a community property state for divorce purposes. A couple who decides to end their marriage must equally divide assets and debts.
If you are considering divorce and live in Texas, review the state laws about property division as you prepare to negotiate.
What is community property?
All assets and funds you and your spouse accrued during your marriage constitute community property. This term also applies to debts either of you incurred after marrying and before separation.
You can keep separate property in a divorce. This category includes personal injury settlements, an inheritance or gift only you received, and debts and assets that date before the marriage and remained separate throughout. You can also categorize assets or debts as separate property in a prenuptial agreement.
How does the court distribute community property?
You and your spouse can decide on a fair arrangement for your shared property. If you cannot do so, you can ask the court to decide.
In generally, Texas courts equally divide community property and debts. However, some situations call for uneven distribution. If you or your spouse asks for a larger share of community property, the judge will review:
- Each person’s separate assets
- Whether either of you primarily provided care for young children
- Each person’s current and future employment situation
- Each person’s age and health status
- The education level each of you has attained
Judges in Texas also have the discretion to award a smaller percentage of shared property to the at-fault spouse in a divorce. For example, you could request a larger percentage of marital property if you have proof that your spouse’s adultery ended the marriage.