Although it is a community property state, Texas courts do not divide all marital property equally for all divorcing couples. The judge in the case examines the facts and determines a fair split of debts and assets.
Many factors in a divorce case can affect the division of a marital estate, resulting in a disproportionate split of money and holdings.
What is community property?
In Texas, the courts assume all property obtained during the marriage is community unless one party proves an exception. In most instances, community property law means that both spouses own acquired property, even if only one spouse’s name is on the title. Courts consider all income earned while married as community property, even if the money came from one party’s separate property.
Property classified as separate may include the following:
- Property obtained as a gift to one spouse
- Property gained through an inheritance
- Property one spouse owned before getting married
- Assets related to personal injury awards
Courts cannot distribute separate property if there is proof it only belongs to one of the spouses.
What factors affect property distribution?
Many variables influence the way a judge decides a just division of marital property. Some elements that can affect the distribution include:
- A disparity in earning capability
- A difference in the ages or health of divorcing parties
- Child-rearing responsibilities and custody
- The amount and type of separate property each spouse owns
- The size of the community estate
- Any misuse of the couple’s assets or funds
Texas laws regarding the division of marital property aim to disperse assets fairly to both parties. A reasonable and just result is not always an entirely equal split of resources.