When a couple is married they begin to acquire a lot of possessions. As the family grows, they share children, real estate, businesses, furniture, cars, beach homes, trusts, bank accounts, and more. It is wonderful while the marriage is thriving to share your belongings with each other, yet when a couple decides that it is time to get divorced, it doesn’t take long to realize that both parties want to own the property.
In Texas, property that was acquired during a marriage is considered to be Community Property. It is possible to have Separate Property throughout a marriage as well. Separate property consists of items that belonged to the spouse before the marriage, as well as gifts, inheritances, or trusts that were left or given to the individual. When it comes to divorce, the court deals with Community Property and seeks to divide the property in a way that is just and right. It should be noted, however, that just and right does not mean equal.
Some divorces seem that they are easy to finalize. There may have been no children, little or no property acquired throughout the marriage, and both parties are in agreement of how to dissolve the marriage. In fact, this type of divorce may be finalized without ever needing to go to trial or attend court. Yet, it can be stated that the more property that is acquired throughout the marriage, the more complicated the divorce process will become. It is often impossible for both parties to equally distribute the community property by themselves, and the counsel of attorneys and the court is imperative in reaching closure.
It is a wise idea to document and prove throughout your marriage what is your separate property; otherwise it may be distributed as community property during a divorce. Community property must be disclosed to the court as well. It is against the law for one spouse to hide property from the other spouse or the courts.
Since even spouses with the best intentions will find property division a reason to argue, it is imperative that you seek the advice and counsel of an experienced divorce attorney to ensure that the property is divided fairly and justly. Often, the court may determine the value of the marital estate then divide that in half. Each party will receive items that are equivalent to their share of the estate. However, it is important to realize that the court may choose not to divide the marital assets at an even 50/50 split.
The court will take other issues into consideration. For instance, the court may look at who was at fault or responsible for the marriage to end. Also, if there are children that have special needs, the court may award more to the parent who is supporting the child or children. The judge will also take into consideration the earning capabilities and the educational status of both parties. The best thing for any couple to do that is involved in a divorce that involves Community Property is to contact a divorce attorney that specializes in property division.