Different states have different rules for how property is divided in a divorce. States either recognize community property law, or they follow the legal theory of equitable distribution. Texas recognizes community property law.
Community property law basically states that all marital property and debt is split equally between spouses. If you want to know how this will likely affect your Texas divorce, you should first consider what marital assets you own.
What is considered to be a marital asset or debt?
The date of the marriage is important when it comes to dictating what is defined as a marital asset and what is defined as a separate asset. Apart from certain exceptions, all assets acquired after the marriage has been initiated are considered to be marital assets. The same applies to debts.
What are the exceptions?
Assets acquired during the marriage that resulted from investments made before the marriage could avoid marital asset status. Additionally, family heirlooms, gifts and inheritances will always remain in the possession of the spouse who acquired them.
Is community property law fair?
Community property is controversial. While many people argue that the 50 -50 split makes things fair for both spouses, others argue that it fails to take into account any disproportionate contributions that each spouse made to the marriage. For example, one spouse may have been working a full-time job and raising the children while the other was gambling and getting into debt. According to community property law, assets and debts would be divided equally, even in a situation such as this.
If you are thinking about filing for a divorce in Texas, you should learn more about community property law before doing so.