During the divorce process, dividing up property can be a big area of concern. If parties cannot reach a mutual agreement about dividing real property and assets, they can seek a judicial ruling.
Courts recognize that each case is unique, but they apply the same general criteria in making determinations about property division in divorce cases.
What is community property?
Texas is in a minority of jurisdictions that categorize a married couple’s property as community property. In effect, this means that the assets that either spouse acquires over the course of a marriage are both parties’ property and subject to division.
Do courts divide assets evenly?
Some states that recognize community property automatically divide everything 50-50 between spouses. In Texas, courts do not always make an even split when they are distributing assets. Statutory law about community property rights allows courts to consider numerous factors to reach a fair result and prevent parties from reaping a windfall or sustaining serious financial hardship.
How do courts divide debt?
A court could rule to divide a married couple’s debt in the same manner that it divides the couple’s assets. Debts that parties have accrued prior to entering into a marriage are likely to remain theirs alone, but incurring debt over the course of a marriage could make it community property and thereby subject to division.
Ultimately, it is preferable for divorcing spouses to reach an agreement rather than leaving it up to a third party. Mediation can help people to have a say in what will happen with their community property instead of relinquishing control to a court.