Often, one of the most hotly disputed issues in a divorce matter is the division of the property between the spouses. Sorting out which spouse gets what property can be confusing. In today's post, we'll discuss the basic rules by which Judges are guided in ordering the division of the property.
Texas law provides that all property owned or claimed by either spouse at the time of divorce is "presumed" to be community property, regardless of whose name is on the title, deed or account. The Court has the duty to divide all community property in a "just and right" manner. A just and right division of the community property is not necessarily mean an equal division. The Court may take into account all relevant factors, such as fault in the breakup of the marriage, wasting of assets, earning potential of each spouse, health of the spouses, and many other factors. As a practical matter, most property divisions in Texas are somewhere between 60/40 and 40/60.
Not all property is community property. If the property was owned by either spouse prior to marriage, was acquired during marriage by gift from an outside third party, or was acquired during marriage by inheritance is known as "separate property". The spouse seeking to receive such property in the divorce must show it is his/her separate property by clear and convincing evidence. Once it is shown to be separate property, the Court has no authority to award even a small portion of it to the other spouse.
If you're considering divorce, you don't have to go through it alone. Individuals should have competent legal counsel to advocate for their rights and seek a property division that is truly fair and equitable. Christiansen Law Firm partners with individuals in divorce cases to secure favorable outcomes. The family law attorneys at Christiansen Law Firm have significant experience in divorce matters, and can assist you with the divorce process. Contact the offices of Christiansen Law Firm in Houston or San Antonio for additional information or to schedule a free consultation.