One of the most contentious aspects of any divorce is how the couple’s accumulated assets will be divided. Over the course of the marriage, the spouses may have acquired many different kinds of property together, along with their income from their jobs. When the marriage comes to an end, many couples find themselves in heated arguments over which party will end up in control of which parts of their formerly shared property.
In Texas, asset division in a divorce is generally governed by the principle of “community property.” This means that most kinds of property acquired by either spouse during their marriage are considered shared property, as is whatever income both spouses make through their jobs. Community property states like Texas require all of a couple’s assets to be distributed roughly equally in a divorce, at least as a general rule. Community property in a marriage generally includes things like any property owned by either spouse, including their cars, jewelry, and other personal possessions.
However, not everything owned by both spouses is necessarily considered community property in a divorce. If one spouse owned a piece of property prior to getting married, that property might be considered separate property. Other common examples of separate property include one spouse’s inheritance from a family member, gifts given to one spouse, and compensation from a personal injury settlement or lawsuit.
Some of the most hotly contested assets in divorce proceedings are things like:
- Works of art
- Stock options and other investments
- Intellectual property
- Deferred compensation plans
- Retirement accounts and pension plans
- Homes and other real estate
- Family businesses
- Motor vehicles
While Texas law states that community property should generally be distributed equally in a divorce, ultimately, courts have a lot of leeway in how marital assets are divided. Some of the factors used to determine how assets are distributed in a divorce include:
- The duration of the marriage
- How well each spouse can support themselves on their own
- Which spouse has primary custody of any children
- Each spouse’s age and health
- Any wrongful actions by the spouses toward each other
- Any financial costs incurred by the spouses as a result of the divorce
- Any other factors the courts deem relevant to the divorce proceedings
If you’re currently involved in divorce proceedings or are considering filing for divorce, you should speak to a Texas asset division attorney. The family law team at Adams Law Firm has more than 35 years of experience handling divorce cases. We thoroughly understand Texas family law and will fight hard to make sure your rights are upheld. We’re also widely known for delivering outstanding results for clients, as shown by our AV Preeminent rating from the ratings agency Martindale-Hubbell.
Get a free initial consultation today by calling our office in Katy, TX, or filling out our contact form.