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Jessica Simpson's parents headed for property division battle

Just when you thought you'd read enough headlines about celebrities getting divorced, out comes the news about one famous Texas native's parents. Jessica Simpson's father and mother, Joe and Tina Simpson, recently announced their plans to divorce after 33 years of marriage.

Whether or not you're a fan of the singer and actress, you may not be able to avoid her parents' divorce, which has already made entertainment news headlines. But amid all of the drama that's bound to come up may be a useful lesson for Texas residents on property division. The Simpsons have acquired some wealth over the years and already both have indicated some unwillingness to share it as they go their separate ways.

Tina Simpson's divorce petition includes an expectation that she and Joe will come to an agreement on their own about the division of the couple's property. Presumably, that would include the proceeds from the sale of their Los Angeles-area home, which is listed at almost $5 million. The petition also states that Tina Simpson has separate, non-marital property that should not be divided among them.

Meanwhile, Joe Simpson, a former minister who significantly boosted his earnings when he became a manager for Jessica and his younger daughter, singer Ashlee Simpson, has insisted that his wife will get "nothing" in their divorce. But Texas is a community property state, which means that all marital property is split 50-50. This includes wages earned by only one spouse. That would mean Tina Simpson, a homemaker, is entitled to half of Joe's wages and property the couple acquired over the course of their marriage.

Couples who live in community property states are free to divide their property however they wish, but if they can't agree, the courts will opt for the 50-50 split. Therefore, Joe Simpson is likely to be disappointed by the settlement. Whether or not this prediction is true, one thing is already certain: The entertainment tabloids will make sure we hear every gory detail of the fight that's about to ensue.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Jessica Simpson's Parents Split: Star Is Coping With Divorce As Joe And Tina Shoot Down Affair Rumors," Oct. 28, 2012

· Our firm handles divorce, property division and many other family law issues. To learn more about our practice, please visit our Dallas divorce and property division page.

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