Dividing property is often one of the most contentious aspects of filing for divorce, especially if either spouse is unwilling to negotiate. When the parties cannot reach an agreement between themselves, the court will distribute the marital estate according to formulas in state law. Texas and eight other states subscribe to a community property philosophy, which may have a dramatic impact on the outcome of your case.
Divorce & Property Division in Texas
What Is “Community Property”?
Community property law presumes that each spouse possesses an equal ownership claim to all marital property, entitling each to half of the estate. While an equal distribution of the assets is the default position of the court, judges are empowered to alter the formula in a manner they deem fair and equitable.
Understanding Marital Property
Texas law considers almost all property obtained by either party to be community property, including wages and earnings, interest in a business, retirement accounts, and real estate. Belongings either party possessed before the marriage, as well as inheritances received from a third party, are considered separate property not subject to distribution. However, they can become shared in some situations. For instance, if either party owned a vacation home and added their spouse to the title during the marriage, the property will be included in the marital estate.
Factors That Influence Court Decisions
Courts may weigh a variety of factors when determining what outcome would be fair and equitable, including which parent has primary custody of the children, what contributions each made to the career of the other, and the spouses’ relative earning potentials. The judge may also award one party a larger share of the marital estate if the other spouse’s behavior caused the divorce.
When you need justice, turn to Ronald D. Zipp, Attorney at Law, a former judge and established legal professional serving clients throughout New Braunfels, TX. For over 40 years, his legal team has helped couples seeking divorce navigate the legal process, and will work to help you secure the property you are entitled to. Visit his website to learn more about the kinds of family law he practices or call (830) 629-5600 to arrange a consultation today.