Texas is a community property state, which means all property acquired by a couple during their marriage is considered to belong equally to them both. This appears that the community property should then be split 50/50 between the spouses, but this is not always the way it turns out.
Texas law instructs the court to “order a division of the estate of the parties in a manner that the court deems just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage.” This means property will not always be divided 50/50.
Factors Court Considers in Making a “Just and Right” Division of Community Property
The following is a list of some factor’s courts consider when making a property division order in a divorce.
- The fault each party may have had in the break-up of the marriage. Fault is not generally considered in Texas, which allows the parties to petition for a no-fault divorce, but if a spouse has mismanaged the assets, this may have an effect on the property division. Additionally, if one party was unfaithful, cruel, convicted of a felony, or abandoned the other spouse, the court may punish that person by awarding him or her less than half of the community property.
- The education of each party and the ability of each to support themselves based on their experience and training for the workforce.
- Disparities in income and earning capacity of each spouse.
- The years spent by one spouse forgoing their own career development potential in order to advance the professional career of the other spouse.
- The needs of minor children to have full-time care by one of the spouses.
- The special needs of adult children who may be disabled and cared for by one of the spouses.
- The age and health of each spouse.
- The size of either party’s separate property, including any inheritance or expected inheritance of one party.
- Tax consequences of dividing certain pieces of property.
The complicated division of community property requires the assistance of a skilled and experienced divorce attorney.
Attorneys at Springer & Lyle Can Help
At Springer & Lyle, we understand the frustration property division can be, especially when the court’s interpretation of “just and right” is not the same as yours. Attorney Daniel Abasolo, family law attorney at Springer & Lyle can answer any questions you have about divorce, property division, and family law in general. Contact him at 940-387-0404 to schedule a consultation.