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How to Determine the Correct Division of Marital Property

Dec. 14, 2018

How Marital Property Is Evenly Divided

While divorce can be complicated, the proceedings will be more straightforward if you and your spouse can agree on how to divide the marital property. On average, there have been around 80,000 divorces per year in Texas over the past decade, many of which have had to contend with the property division process. That’s why divorcing couples often hire family law attorneys who can provide valuable legal advice and representation.

How Property Is Divided During a Divorce

In most cases, the divorcing couple will make the decisions on their own about how the property and assets are going to be divided. Keep in mind that marital property also refers to any debts that have been incurred during the marriage. When a couple is making this decision without the assistance of the courts, assistance could be provided through a mediator. The mediator is a non-partial third party who can help a couple negotiate an agreement. When an agreement cannot be made, the dispute over property or assets will be sent to a judge.

While the majority of states determine who gets what based on equitable distribution, Texas divorce laws require assets to be divided based on whether or not they are classified as community property. When assets, a piece of property, or debts are considered to be community property, they will be divided evenly among both spouses. Any assets or debts that are classified as non-community property will be kept by the owner.

Who Gets to Keep the House?

If you and your spouse currently own a home, you may be wondering who will be able to stay in the house after the divorce has been settled. In the event that children are involved, it’s likely that the parent who is considered to be the primary caregiver will stay in the home with the children. If children are not involved, the name on the deed and title will determine who gets to keep the house. This means that it could be possible for this spouse to ask the other one to leave the home.

Difference Between Community and Non-Community Property

When it comes to Texas divorce laws, the division of marital property depends on whether the property is classified as community or non-community property. Community property refers to any earnings that were obtained during the marriage as well as any items or assets that were acquired from these specific earnings. For example, this could mean a sofa that was purchased during the marriage. Any of the debts by either spouse that were incurred during the marriage are considered to be community property debts.

Non-community property is considered to be any type of asset that is regarded as being the separate property of one spouse and not the other. Examples of non-community property can include pension proceeds, awards for a personal injury, and any inheritances that were initially received by a single spouse. If the couple purchases a home with the separate funds of one spouse, the home will be considered to solely be the property of that individual following the divorce. While a business that was owned before a marriage will be labeled as non-community property, some aspects of the business could be community property if the company’s value increased during the marriage.

When a home or other piece of property has been purchased with both community and separate funds, it’s likely that the entire property will be labeled as community property following the divorce. Given that there are many factors involved in the division of marital property, you may want to get in touch with one of the family law attorneys at Stewart Law PLLC. We will assist you during the process to make sure that you understand every facet of the law that pertains to your case. Legal counsel could look out for your best interests during the division proceedings.

If you have a good idea about how your marital property is going to be divided and would like to begin divorce proceedings, call our Baytown family law attorney to schedule a confidential consultation.