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Is property division always 50/50 in a Texas divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2024 | Divorce |

Texas is a community property state. Typically, that means that all marital property has to be divided 50/50 in a divorce – but the reality is often very nuanced.

According to the state statute, the court must also divide marital property “in a manner that the court deems just and right,” which means that facts specific to the individual case can actually skew the asset division process in favor of one spouse.

Factors that the court may consider when dividing marital property

Every situation is different, but the court may choose to look at:

  • Each spouse’s capacity to become self-supporting: This may involve evaluating each spouse’s education, work experience, age and health, as well as their overall earnings potential. This can become particularly important in long-standing marriages where one spouse has devoted themselves to the care of the home and children.
  • Whether one spouse has misused the marital property: If one spouse has dissipated or depleted the marital estate in some way, the court may choose to award the bulk of what remains to the other spouse. This could happen, for example, if a spouse squandered marital funds on extravagant purchases, an affair, frivolous investment schemes or gambling without the consent or knowledge of the other.
  • The size of each party’s separate assets: If one spouse has significantly more separate assets than the other, that could influence the court’s decision, especially if the less-affluent spouse has a significant need for support.
  • One spouse has property or assets outside the state that would be considered marital property if they were inside this state. 
  • One spouse has significant income that was received after the divorce was filed or in any year in which the couple was married at least part of the time. This is to prevent one spouse from deferring compensation until after a separation or divorce to avoid sharing it with the other spouse.

The property division process is seldom as easy as people think. It can take skillful negotiation to get a fair result in your divorce.