Unless you and your ex signed a thorough prenuptial agreement or set terms for a postnuptial agreement due to marital issues, it is nearly impossible to predict the exact outcome of a divorce. Although there is a legal standard that exists for property division in Texas, much of the standard is interpretive and gives authority and discretion to the judges to use as they see fit based on the details of the situation.
If you don’t have a written agreement with your former spouse about how you want to split up your possessions if you divorce, it is nearly impossible to predict who will get what and how much of which asset you have the right to retain. However, informing yourself about the community property standard for asset division in Texas can help you understand how the courts will make decisions regarding your possessions.
Community property means sharing assets
When you get married, you and your spouse become a legal unit who share in one another’s financial successes, as well as in each other’s debts. In most cases, the assets and debts you have from before your marriage will remain your separate property when you get married, unless you commingle or share accounts with your spouse.
The income you earn and the assets you acquire during your marriage, however, are typically considered community property by the courts, which means that both of you have an ownership interest in those possessions. Regardless of how much an individual spouse earned or whose name is on a specific account, the date when you acquired an asset or earned that income will have more impact on how the courts view it than the name of the spouse to open the account.
The goal of community property division is a fair outcome
The courts have the legal authority to divide your community property in a way that is fair to both of you. Typically, the courts will look at a variety of factors, including the current income and earning potential of both spouses, custody arrangements for the children, any special medical needs that the parent or children have, and other important factors, such as the length of the marriage.
Many people incorrectly assume that marital wrongdoing, such as infidelity, will play a role in how the courts divide assets. However, the courts do not consider marital misconduct when determining how to split up your possessions. Unless you have a prenuptial agreement that outlines penalties for an unfaithful spouse, the courts will not usually consider infidelity when splitting up your possessions.
Understanding the community property approach is critical to determining how to represent your situation in court. The right documentation and evidence can help you obtain a better and fairer outcome to the asset division process of your Texas divorce.