The least stressful way of handling the division of property during the dissolution of a marriage is to work out with your spouse how to split assets between yourselves in the state of Texas. However, if you cannot address this issue with your future ex in an amicable manner, you are not alone. In many divorce cases, especially those involving high-value assets, going to court is the only option.
Community property state
Texas is one of a handful of states that are community property states. This basically means that the Lone Star State evenly divides any marital property, with each party keeping his or her own separate property following the divorce.
This is opposite of what happens in an equitable distribution state. This is where a judge will determine what kind of division is fair, or equitable, instead of just splitting the couple's marital assets right down the middle. Therefore, in these other states, the spouse who earned more during the marriage may actually take home about two-thirds of the assets, whereas the spouse who did not earn as much money may only see a third of that money.
So, what exactly is community property?
Community property is anything that you and your spouse accumulated while you were married. This includes not only assets but also debts. On the contrary, separate property is any item you or your spouse received prior to walking down the aisle. This may include the proceeds of a pension, an inheritance, a court award or gifts.
Comingling is when you mix community and separate property. In this situation, the divorce court will most likely tell you it is all community property. Thus, if you want to maintain your own separate property after getting married, you must keep it in a totally different area from your marital property. Otherwise, the judge will split the property during a divorce proceeding along with all of your other shared assets and debts.
How an attorney can help
The division of assets, particularly high-value assets, can understandably be adversarial and complex in the state of Texas. However, an attorney can help you to trace each financial asset that is at stake to make sure that separate property is not placed on the negotiation table and that all community property is divided in a fair manner for your long-term benefit.