How will our property be split?
Texas is a community property state that does not recognize legal separation. This means any asset accumulated from the beginning of the marriage up until the trial date is considered marital property. Assuming there is no prenuptial agreement, marital property is usually divided 50/50. However, the judge has some discretion when dividing community property and can give the parties a disproportionate share. The judge will consider the following: (1) Can the spouse support himself or herself? (2) Did a spouse commit a wrongdoing? (3) How much did the spouse spend while the divorce was pending? and (4) other considerations.
1. Can the spouse support himself or herself?
The judge can consider which spouse has custody of the children, how much each spouse earns, the value of each spouse’s separate property, the health of the spouses, the age of the spouses, and how much income will be produced from an income-producing property.
2. Did a spouse commit a wrongdoing?
The judge can consider who was at fault in the breakup of the marriage, if a spouse committed fraud in transactions involving the community property, and if the spouse committed a tortious act towards the other spouse (such as physical violence, assault, and emotional distress).
If fault is proven, the judge cannot give a disproportionate share of the community property. However, the judge can consider any benefits the spouse (who is not fault) would have received if the marriage had continued. For instance, a Texas judge considered the medical benefits a spouse would have received had the marriage continued. A value was placed on those medical benefits and the community property was divided in a manner that accounted for the medical benefits.
3. How much did the spouse spend while the divorce was pending?
The judge can consider if court-ordered temporary spousal support was paid or not paid, the expenses to maintain community property, attorney fees and costs, and any tax consequences if the property is divided.
4. Other considerations
The judge can consider the length the parties have been married and the nature of the community property. This means the judge can consider whether one spouse will be better able to manage a certain piece of property, whether the property requires the person owning that property be licensed (like a medical practice), whether one spouse can make better use of the property, whether the property is more associated with one spouse, whether the property was acquired primarily by one spouse, and the value of the property.
DISCLAIMER: The following information found on www.nextwithlena.com is provided for general informational purposes only. It may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained on this website should be construed as legal advice or the creation of an attorney-client relationship. This information is not intended to be a substitute for legal representation by an attorney.
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