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Is community property always divided 50/50 in a Texas divorce?

On Behalf of | May 14, 2024 | Property Division

Spouses in Texas may find themselves contemplating divorce for many reasons. Perhaps someone recently discovered that their spouse has cheated, or perhaps substance abuse issues have begun affecting the quality of their relationship. People also frequently decide to divorce because they have slowly grown apart from their spouses and now have different values.

Regardless of the reasoning behind a divorce filing, people often have specific concerns at the end of a marriage. Some couples have to address financial support issues and child custody, but not all couples share children or have highly uneven financial circumstances.

Quite a few couples facing divorce in Texas only have to negotiate terms for dividing their property with each other. Does state law mandate the 50/50 division of all marital property in a Texas divorce?

Community property division can be quite complex

Community property laws mean that spouses typically share whatever they earn or purchase during the marriage, regardless of how much each spouse contributes to the home’s finances. Each spouse has an interest in those shared resources if they divorce.

People who talk about a 50/50 division of assets oversimplify the property division process. Technically, Texas state statutes do begin with the assumption that an even split of marital or community property is appropriate. However, both spouses have the option of presenting evidence to the courts that can establish that a 50/50 division of resources would be unfair.

Factors ranging from wasteful destruction of marital property to highly uneven economic circumstances could convince a judge to award one spouse more marital property or make them more responsible for more marital debt. Therefore, those preparing for divorce in Texas may need to be very thorough as they gather evidence about their financial and marital circumstances. Details ranging from custody arrangements to the health of the spouses can influence what a judge agrees would be appropriate and fair when dividing the assets acquired and income earned during a Texas marriage.

Understanding state statutes can help people know what to expect during property division proceedings in a Texas divorce. Those who establish appropriate expectations can develop a realistic strategy for negotiating prior to divorce or litigating during divorce.