Texas is a community property state, which means that property acquired during your marriage is subject to division.
However, this does not mean that you and your spouse will receive a 50-50 split. Property division must be fair, so, what factors will the court consider in determining distribution?
About community property
As one of nine community property states in the U.S., Texas tries to divide assets and debts between the divorcing parties fairly if not precisely equally. Community property includes houses, vehicles and other assets you and your spouse acquired during your marriage, as well as wages and investment income earned by either of you. Property division also includes splitting the marital debt acquired, such as your mortgage and car loan.
Circumstances the court considers
In determining a fair distribution of your marital assets and debts, the court considers a number of factors, including:
- Your ability to earn sufficient income
- The effect of divorce on your financial future
- The amount of separate property you own
- The taxes you must pay on certain assets
- The number of children you have and their needs
Under Texas law, the court may consider economic misconduct, which refers to the dissipation of assets. For example, if your spouse gambled away marital funds or went on excessive spending binges, the court may award to you as the injured spouse a higher percentage of the property to be divided. Also, a prenuptial agreement that includes a property division agreement between the two of you would take precedence over some if not all of the court’s decisions in community property matters.