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Texas property division considerations

Texas is a community property state. This means that most property acquired during the marriage is considered jointly owned by both parties unless they are considered include gifts or inheritances.

Property acquired in another state that would be community property if it had been acquired in Texas and assets acquired by the exchange of property that would be deemed community property are designated as jointly owned for property division analysis. Though the law sees most marital property as jointly owned, a judge may order an unequal distribution under certain circumstances, and generally, the court's focus is on equitable division. To that end, the court will consider the rights of the parties to assets as well as any children of the marriage.

Furthermore, the parties may come to an agreement regarding the division of all marital property. Such an agreement is subject to review by the court, which will approve it if it finds that its terms are just and right. Alternatively, the court may order the parties to submit a new tentative agreement.

During its analysis, the court will determine the rights of the parties with regard to retirement, insurance and employee benefits, and these assets will be divided along with other marital property. The court may also consider tax issues, including the value of an asset after the relevant taxes have been levied. An experienced family law attorney may be able to help an individual involved in a divorce understand the specifics of the property division statutes as they apply to his or her case. Individuals may wish to consult an attorney for assistance in drafting a joint agreement that complies with Texas law or in negotiating the award of marital property in a contested divorce.

Source: Divorce Support, "Texas Divorce Laws", September 12, 2014

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