During a Texas divorce, an individual’s future can seem uncertain. They may not know where they will live or what assets they can count on to use to rebuild their life. Many people have heard urban legends about community property division and may worry that divorce will leave them in a very bad financial position.
The common misconception that people have about community property is that Texas courts will always split a couple’s assets right in half, which is not accurate. While splitting community property in Texas can result in an even split of the value of a couple’s marital estate, the process certainly doesn’t always resolve so symmetrically.
Community property division should reflect a couple’s current situation
It’s important to understand that spouses generally have the option of pursuing an uncontested divorce filing if they can settle their major property matters with the assistance of their attorneys in ways that don’t require judicial intervention. As long as both spouses agree to specific terms, the community property statute has very little bearing on the actual outcome of property and debt division.
Of course, there are many spouses who cannot reach an agreement about property division during a Texas divorce. If a couple has to go to court, a judge will only use the idea of 50/50 division as outlined in Texas property division laws as a starting point for the process.
A judge needs to consider factors such as the health and income of each spouse, the length of the marriage and other key elements of the marriage when deciding what is appropriate and fair. Frequently, it is necessary to deviate from a 50/50 division of assets to reach an appropriate and reasonable solution concerning property division that honors each spouse’s contributions and interests.
As a general rule, most assets acquired during a marriage will be subject to division, and spouses will need to thoroughly disclose all of their marital property and income to each other and the courts as part of any litigated property division process. Making sense of the Texas community property statutes can help people feel empowered as they begin divorce negotiations or a litigation process.