Like a bundle of other states, Texas is what the law calls a community property state. This feature of Texas law is something that can impact a Sweetwater resident’s life in a number of ways, including what will happen to his or her property in a divorce.
Married couples in Texas own their property as a community
In Texas, married couples hold their property as a community, that is, together as a couple. What this means in practice is that each spouse, legally, has a claim over the property.
Only property acquired during the marriage is, by default, considered community property. Property that each person brings into the marriage is considered separate property. Likewise, gifts and inheritances are also separate property.
Community property is not always divided 50-50
Under Texas law, a person’s separate property cannot be divided. Instead, each person keeps his or her separate property, and debts, outright. Community property, on the other hand, will be divided in a way that is just and right.
Just and right does not automatically mean a 50-50 split, however. Instead, the family law judge may consider a number of factors that will depend on the couple’s circumstances.
This is why specific questions about property division should be directed to an experienced family law attorney.
The value of the property and debts is also a potential issue
The couple may also have a dispute over how much a given piece of property is worth, as the value of the property will determine how much each spouse receives after the divorce.
Some types of property, bank accounts for example, are fairly easy to put a value on.
However, valuing other items, particularly a person’s business interest or retirement pension, can require the help of an expert.