When two people choose to get a divorce in Texas, they must figure out how they will divide their assets. This can be particularly difficult, especially if both parties brought property into a marriage or obtained a large amount of property or financial assets.
There are two types of property: separate and community property. Separate property is property that is brought into a marriage by one person. Unless that property is commingled during the marriage, it will belong to the same person should the couple divorce. Community property is considered to be any property that was acquired during the marriage. This property is subject to being divided should the couple get divorced.
Since Texas is a community property state, said community property will be divided fairly among the two parties. This, however, does not mean that the property will necessarily be divided equally. There are certain factors that the judge will consider when dividing property, including what caused the marriage to dissolve, the size of any debt and the size of both parties’ separate estates. In cases where property cannot be easily divided, such as the family home, the other person may still retain their portion of interest in the home or have their interest sold to the other party.
One way that a person can protect their separate property against potential property division in the event that they begin the divorce process is to sign a Premarital Property Agreement, which can be drafted by a family law attorney. This way, the person has evidence that property belonged to them prior to the marriage. If the couple is already married, an attorney may assist with the drafting of a Marital Property Agreement, which can be signed at any time and still protects separate property or items that were obtained as gifts or through inheritance.