If you’re getting a divorce in Texas, you should know that the state is a community property state. This means that all of the marital assets you share with your spouse will need to be divided equally upon divorce unless you come up with a different arrangement.
If you currently have oil, gas and mineral rights, that division could be complex. Oil, gas and mineral rights are also considered to be real property, so they will be divided similarly to any other assets in your possession.
Can you protect your oil, gas or mineral rights against property division?
Yes, you can. You may be able to assert that the rights are separate property in some cases. For instance, if you owned the land or interests prior to getting married or received them as an inheritance or gift, then you may not need to divide them with your spouse.
If your mineral rights, gas or oil rights were mutually purchased or inherited, then you may need to divide them equally if you go to court. You do have other options, though. For instance, you may ask your spouse to divide the rights equitably instead of equally if there is good reason to do so or if there is leverage in your case. An example would be if your spouse really wants to keep the family home but you’re interested in keeping it, too. If they want you to give up your share, they may offer a greater portion of the mineral rights or give you oil rights in exchange if they are not interested in exercising them themselves.
Dividing your property can be a difficult process
It’s true that dividing property can be a complex, and sometimes difficult, process, especially when it involves oil, gas and mineral rights that you may not know the value of. It’s a good idea to get an appraisal of those rights and then to divide them fairly when you can. If your spouse is trying to take more than 50% of those assets, you can also fight to keep your fair share as you move on following your divorce.