Texas is a community property state, which means it is one of the nine remaining states that still has authority over dividing property that spouses acquired during their marriage. While the court will want to make the distribution fair and just between the divorcing spouses, this may not always be the case. It can be unfair that the spouse who purchased the property after saying “I do” now must split it with their ex.
What does the court consider when dividing community property?
The philosophy of community property encompasses everything you and your spouse purchased and accumulated during your marriage. Because property division is such a complex process, failure to reach a beneficial settlement can lead to litigation and court intervention. The court considers these questions when deciding the most equitable way to divide the properties:
- Was there fault in the divorce?
- How much does each spouse earn, and is there a significant disparity?
- Are the spouses both of sound mind and body?
- Does either spouse have any health issues or concerns that may require more financial assistance?
- Who has custody of the children?
- Did either spouse purchase the property within the state?
- Are there any tax implications in awarding the property to either spouse?
- What is the educational attainment and earning capacity of each spouse?
If you bought a dog while married, the court might need to decide who gets the dog. It does not matter that you were the one who decided to purchase or adopt your beloved pet if your spouse wants to keep the pet as well.
If you cannot agree, mediation is the key
Property division is a catalyst for dispute, so you and your spouse may want to hire the professional services of a mediator. A mediator can help facilitate an agreement rather than having the court decide. You and your spouse will still have significant control over the division process, and the mediator can help you create a written agreement that the court will approve.