Everyone knows divorce is difficult. However, if you understand the process, you can alleviate some of the stress involved. The ending of your relationship comes with the aspect of property division. If you do not know what to expect, you might be blind-sided when it is time to split up your assets.
Texas is a community property state. This means the court considers any property you acquired during your marriage community or marital property. It does not matter who purchased it or who you think it belongs to.
What is separate property?
When you start the divorce process, the court determines the spouses’ marital and separate property. Separate property is any assets you received before the marriage. Separate property also includes gifts to only one spouse and damages awarded to one spouse from personal injury lawsuits. However, damages paid to a spouse to compensate for lost wages fall under community property.
According to Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 3.003, the spouse must prove their separate property claim to the court. Without sufficient proof, the court considers all property community property.
What influences the court’s decision?
Texas courts attempt to divide marital property equitably. Some factors that influence how community property gets divided are the ability of each spouse to earn an income, the health of each spouse, child custody and the guilt of each spouse in the cause of divorce.
Besides the factors described above, property division in Texas involves many other considerations. Consult with your attorney about the best way to proceed, and make sure you have a plan for how to prove your separate property.