When your divorce takes place in Texas, you likely have questions about asset division in the state. These questions are especially relevant if you have lived with your spouse for many years and accumulated significant property together over that time.
Review the Texas laws about property and debt division in divorce before negotiating with your spouse about this issue.
Understanding community property
As a community property state, Texas requires the equal division of all property and debt acquired by either you or your spouse during your marriage. That means your spouse can potentially claim half of your business, your investments, your pension, your retirement account and your real estate holdings.
Establishing separate property
Texas does consider some assets and debts separate property in a divorce. If you receive a settlement for a personal injury, gift or inheritance during the marriage, you can claim that amount as separate property.
You can also establish certain items as separate property in a prenuptial agreement. While your spouse does not have entitlement to half of the assets you owned prior to marriage, he or she can potentially claim half of the amount these items increased in value during the marriage.
You and your spouse can negotiate a divorce agreement about property division outside of court. If you cannot agree, you can ask the judge in your case to divide your marital assets. Either way, a professional valuation will help ensure that you both receive a fair settlement.
The judge will start with a 50% split but can adjust this division of assets and debts based on factors such as age, health, income, job prospects, child care, separate property holdings and fault at the end of the marriage.