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Dividing Marital Property in a Texas Divorce

If you are in the middle of a divorce or soon will be, you will have to deal with dividing the marital assets. Texas is one of a handful of states that divides marital property under the laws of “community property.” Under community property law, with some important exceptions, essentially all property acquired during the course of the marriage is subject to division.

Separate property however, is not subject to division in a divorce. Separate property, among other items, includes assets acquired before the marriage, and gifts and inheritances acquired by one spouse alone before or during the marriage. Personal injury awards in one spouse’s name alone are considered separate property as well, except for the “lost income” portion of the settlement or verdict.

In Texas, all property acquired during the course of the marriage is considered community property regardless of who earned it or whose name is on the title or account. If a spouse can prove that an asset is separate property, it can be excluded from the dividable marital estate.

Is Community Property Split 50/50?

Under Texas law, when a couple divorces their marital property is supposed to be divided in a fair and equitable manner, which may not be a 50/50 split. If a couple does not reach a settlement agreement on their own and the court has to step in, it will take into consideration the totality of the circumstances, including:

  • Each spouse’s age and health
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity
  • The fault in the breakup of the marriage, such as adultery
  • Wasteful dissipation of assets
  • Which spouse has custody of the children

“What about retirement assets?” Retirement assets are subject to division in a Texas divorce; however, like other marital assets, they are not necessarily divided down the middle. For example, if each spouse has their own retirement account, the court may decide to award each spouse their own account, especially if the balance in the separate accounts is close. If the difference in the balances is significant, the courts may award other community property to a spouse to compensate him or her for the difference.

Searching for a Cypress divorce lawyer? Contact Hunt Law Firm, PLLC at (832) 781-0320 to schedule an initial consultation.