Divorce is hard. Splitting up the property and assets can be one of the most challenging aspects of a divorce case. You may be wondering: Is all property subject to division in a divorce in Texas? The short answer is “no.” While community property will be split, separate property is not subject to division in a divorce. Here, our Fort Worth property division attorney explains the key things that you should understand about what assets are subject to distribution in a divorce in Texas.
Separate Property is Not Subject to Division in a Divorce in Texas
In Texas, not all property is treated equally when it comes to division during a divorce. Indeed, not all property is subject to distribution at all. A key distinction is made between “separate property” and “community property.” Under Texas law (Tex. Fam. Code § 3.001), separate property is generally any property that one spouse owned before the marriage or acquired during the marriage as a gift or inheritance. It can also include any personal injury compensation received by one spouse during the marriage. Separate property belongs solely to the spouse who owns it and is not subject to division in a divorce.
Community Property is Subject to Division in a Divorce in Texas
On the other hand, Texas is one of the nine U.S. states that deems marital property “community property.” Texas follows the community property system, meaning that, with some exceptions, any assets or income acquired by either spouse during the marriage belong to both spouses equally.
Under Texas law (Tex. Fam. Code § 3.002), consists of all property—other than separate property—that was acquired during the course of the marriage. As community property is jointly owned by both spouses, it is subject to division upon divorce.
While Community Property is Jointly Owned, a 50/50 Split is Not Guaranteed in Texas
Many mistakenly believe that since Texas is a community property state, assets will be divided evenly in a divorce. While community property is jointly owned, this doesn’t mean the court will automatically split it 50/50. The Texas Family Code grants judges discretion in dividing community property in a way they deem “just and right.” In other words, while a 50/50 split of community assets happens in many divorce cases in Texas is not guaranteed as a matter of law. Notably, various factors can influence this decision—including the current and future financial prospects of each spouse. An experienced Fort Worth, TX divorce lawyer can help you navigate a complex property division matter.
Contact Our Fort Worth Property Division Attorney Today
At The Law Office of Kyle Whitaker, our Fort Worth family law attorney has extensive experience handling complex property division cases. If you have any questions about property division, our team can help. Contact us right away for more information. With an office in Fort Worth, we handle property division cases in Tarrant County, Dallas County, and throughout North Texas.