If you’re filing for divorce in the Lone Star State, you’re probably concerned about your financial future and what will happen to the assets you’ve worked hard to acquire. The common misconception is that divorce in Texas automatically means everything you own gets halved between you and your ex. While it’s true that Texas law has specific guidelines regarding the division of property in divorce, some notable exceptions and conditions could apply to your situation.
What Assets Are Subject to Division in a Texas Divorce Case?
In Texas, the concept of “community property” governs asset division in divorce. All assets either spouse acquires during the marriage, except for specific gifts or inheritances made to one spouse, are considered community property. This can include real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, investment portfolios, and even retirement accounts.
On the other hand, separate property remains the sole property of the individual spouse and is generally not subject to division. But it’s worth noting that a reduction in the mortgage on separate property could result in funds being owed to the other spouse.
The challenge often lies in proving what is separate property, especially when spouses have commingled assets during the marriage. Accurate records and documentation are essential in this regard, as the courts generally presume all assets are community property unless proven otherwise.
How Prenuptial Agreements Influence Asset Division
A prenuptial agreement can significantly affect how assets get divided in a Texas divorce. While Texas is a community property state, meaning assets acquired during the marriage generally get divided equitably, a prenuptial agreement can override this default rule.
A prenuptial agreement or “prenup” allows both parties to proactively categorize certain assets as community or separate property and determine how they should be divided upon divorce. But for a prenuptial agreement to be enforceable, it must meet certain legal criteria, such as being signed voluntarily by both parties and free from fraud or duress. An experienced family law attorney can ensure that a prenuptial agreement is valid and reflects your intentions accurately.
How Courts Evaluate “Fair and Equitable” Division
If you’re hoping to keep certain assets in a Texas divorce, it’s important to understand how Texas courts view “fair and equitable” division. In Texas, the law presumes that property acquired during the marriage should be divided fairly and equitably upon divorce. But fair and equitable doesn’t always mean a straight 50-50 split.
Courts account for various factors when deciding on asset division, such as how long you’ve been married, your financial circumstances, the employment status of the parties, and whether either party is at “fault” for the divorce. The court will also consider non-monetary contributions you made during the marriage, like supporting your spouse’s career or taking care of the kids.
The goal is to make sure both parties walk away in a relatively balanced financial position, but that doesn’t mean you can’t argue for a better deal. A good family law attorney can guide you through this process and help you make the best case for keeping as much of your assets as possible.
Contact an Asset Division Attorney in Texas Now
Ready to protect what’s yours during your Texas divorce? Trust the seasoned professionals at Hargrave Law. With more than two decades of experience, we’re here to guide you every step of the way.
Contact us now at 817-282-0679 to arrange your confidential consultation session.