What effect does the conduct of the parties have

Very little, unless the conduct was intended to harm the other party.

Some judges will punish a party for adultery, psychological abuse of the spouse, or other misconduct that is morally improper; however, the number of jurists who do so is falling.

On the other hand, fraud, squandering money, spending money for the benefit of paramour’s and activities of that nature are frowned upon by virtually every judge and such misconduct will usually be punished via a lopsided division of property.

What effect does the length of the marriage have on property division?

Although the “length of the marriage” is frequently cited as a reason to grant a disproportionate division of the marital estate, the real reasons are more economic or financial in nature.

Differences in earning capacity become more significant as the ages of the parties advance.  For example, it is less likely that a 50 year old housewife can find gainful employment than her 50 year old corporate executive husband can do so.  Likewise, the physically impaired spouse may incur significant ongoing expenses for treatment that the physically fit spouse does not have in his/her budget.

Generally speaking, realistic predictions of what the future holds for a person after the divorce are more important factors than the length of the marriage.

Is there such a thing as separate property? What does it take?

The distinction between separate property and community property is important because separate property can not be divided or awarded to the other party in a divorce case.

Separate property is most commonly defined as something: a) owned prior to the marriage, b) acquired as a gift, or c) acquired by inheritance.  There are other categories of separate property, but they are less frequently encountered.

The judge must assume that everything the parties own at the time of divorce is community property and, therefore, can be divided.  If either party claims something as separate property, that person must identify the item and prove that falls within one of the definitions of separate property.

Texas marital property is rather complicated and only an experienced divorce attorney can provide advice concerning a particular set of facts.