Dissolving your marriage through divorce involves a lot of moving parts and rules when it comes to property division. The home you once shared and financial responsibilities you both contributed to will change as you go your separate ways.
In Texas, all marital assets are known as community property. And through community property laws, both parties are equal owners of all assets and property they acquire throughout the duration of their marriage. Since you can’t exactly split items like your favorite pieces in the art collection you’ve built up through the years in half, a judge will aim to divide everything in a way that is fair.
In addition to an art collection, here are some other examples of community property:
- Income of each spouse
- Family home and furnishings
- Vehicles you’ve purchased
- Earnings on investments you’ve made
So, essentially if you sell the family home during your divorce, you shouldn’t count on receiving exactly half of the profit. This is because a judge will consider a whole list of factors that can create an uneven division.
In fact, a judge may:
- Award less to the spouse who committed an act that led to the divorce, like adultery or cruelty
- Award more to a spouse who won’t be able to keep up with their pre-divorce lifestyle or take care of their children without extra compensation
- Award more to a spouse whose age or health condition impacts their earning capability
- Award a near 50/50 division to a couple who has a large estate
Even though there is a lot that is in the hands of the judge in your case, assets that fall under the separate property classification are not subject to division. Separate property often includes inheritances or gifts an individual receives during marriage. It also includes property you owned before marriage. So, if you don’t mix the two, like put inheritance money into a joint bank account, then you should be able to claim it as your own.
No two couples have an identical estate. But an experienced divorce attorney can help you take the steps necessary to wind up with assets that allow you to begin the next phase of your life with confidence.