You and your spouse are getting a divorce, but it’s more than just your partnership that is splitting. Everything you acquired together must get split as well.

Texas is a community property state, which means the court will attempt to divide your assets by what is “just and right.” This isn’t always as simple as drawing a line down the middle. Understand how the court defines a fair split to make sure you get your fair share.

What is community property?

The court can count most anything that you gain during your marriage as community property, which is up for grabs. Income, commingled property and debt can all fall in the community pot.

What is separate property?

Separate property, which is likely yours to keep, can live outside of the community property if no commingling occurs. Once you start muddying the waters on ownership, independent assets can quickly become community property. Truly separate property may fall into several categories:

  • Property from before your marriage
  • Inheritances or gifts for you alone
  • Personal injury compensation, with possible exceptions like lost earnings

What is disproportionate division?

A judge may decide that a split down the middle isn’t quite right after considering your case. The ruling might sway toward you or your partner depending on circumstances like:

  • Custody of the children
  • Disparity in earning capacity
  • Physical health condition
  • Size of separate estates
  • Fault in the divorce

Having a solid understanding of property and how judges approach a fair share can make a big difference. When it comes time to talk division, make sure you’re ready to stake your claim.

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