Texas is a community property state. This means that, in the event of a divorce, an equal split of property will be the default approach unless negotiation and documentation determine otherwise. Included in the separation of financial affairs are debts, and the couple will need to account for loans, credit card balances, medical debts and mortgages during the divorce process.
When looking at credit cards, the debt is typically assigned to the person whose name is on the account. A joint account, however, would obligate both ex-spouses to divide and pay the debt, even if only one of the parties was responsible for charging purchases on the card. This approach could be expected to apply to other consumer indebtedness.
Mortgages tend to be in the name of both spouses. For this jointly-held debt, the spouse with the highest income or custody of children often acquires the mortgage and buys out the equity from the other spouse. Alternatively, they could sell the home and pay off the mortgage to complete the divorce. As for medical debts, a person in Texas can expect the community property laws to apply and require an even split.
Although laws are in place to direct the division of property and debts, divorce can often be a negotiated process. Property division could be established according to the wishes of the divorcing spouses if they both agree to the provisions. An attorney who has experience in family law matters may often provide representation to one of the parties and attempt to negotiate a comprehensive settlement agreement that takes that issue as well as others into account.