Who gets what in a Texas divorce?

Property division following a divorce is a burning issue, and it forms the basis of conflict among many ex-spouses. When the divorcing couple can’t agree on dividing their property between them, the court may step in.

Usually, the bone of contention centers around property acquired before or after the marriage. Below, we take a look at how property is divided between ex-couples after a divorce.

Texas is a community property state

There are two ways a state can divide marital property: Equitable division or community property division. Under Texas law, property acquired during the marriage belongs to both parties and is divided equally. This is regardless of which spouse purchased the property.

On the other hand, property acquired before the marriage generally belongs to the original owner and is not up for division following a divorce. The definition of separate and community property will determine what is up for division.

What sort of things are considered separate property?

In Texas, the law tries to look carefully at what is and is not considered community property. Your separate property may include things like:

  • Inheritances and family heirlooms
  • Gifts that were just to you (not jointly to you and your spouse)
  • Real estate that was owned prior to the marriage
  • Businesses that were owned prior to the marriage
  • Anything that was carved out according to a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement

Even some of the things listed above can be transformed from separate property to community property through commingling with the assets of one’s spouse, however.

Property division does not always end amicably in most instances, as one party is sometimes left with a bitter taste in the mouth. It’s worthwhile to be aware of such legalities surrounding divorce to avoid making costly mistakes.