HOW IS COMMUNITY PROPERTY DIVIDED BETWEEN SPOUSES IN A TEXAS DIVORCE?
While both spouses are entitled to community property, it isn’t the case that the spouses just get half of everything. Instead, Texas courts divide property in a “just and fair manner.”
A couple can voluntarily agree to this division or a court can make a ruling which is based on a specific set of factors.
Along the way, it’s important that the couple agrees on a property’s value, or the court will establish the value. Valuations can be best guesses, or the parties can hire experts, such as appraisers, to value property. These valuations play an important role in the legal property division process.
If a mutual agreement cannot be made, then the judge will decide how the property will be divided. Similar to the factors used in determining spousal support, a court may consider each party’s earning capacity, educational background, childrearing responsibility, age, and/or health differences, and each spouse’s post-divorce needs.
Again, the focus is on overall fairness rather than a clean split down the middle.
For example, one spouse may reap a larger portion of the value if that spouse is going to be the primary caregiver for children. A court might also unevenly divide the property if one partner has committed economic misconduct (such as fraud or financial squandering).
Property division in Texas allows both parties to receive a portion of their shared property.