The idea of dividing your property with your ex may make you feel rather nervous and even defensive. People often feel like they have a lot to lose in divorce proceedings and may employ an unnecessarily aggressive approach out of fear that they will disadvantage themselves otherwise. Others give up and surrender themselves to the system because they feel powerless due to their lack of information about what happens in divorce court.
There’s so much information out there about divorce in Texas, and not all of it is accurate. For example, someone may have told you that community property laws will force you to divide your property evenly in half.
Texas is a community property state, but that doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it does.
How community property division works in Texas
In theory, the process of dividing community property is incredibly straightforward. A judge simply divides everything in half. All marital property is subject to division, and each spouse receives exactly half of the proceeds. While equal division seems simple and even reasonable on paper, oftentimes it would be unfair and very difficult to achieve.
The community property laws in Texas actually allow for a lot more nuance than you might expect. A judge needs to understand the marital situation, from the length of the marriage to the paid and unpaid contributions each spouse made to the household. The judge can then choose to deviate from the 50/50 standard if they determine that doing so would be fair given the family’s situation.
You don’t have to put yourself at the mercy of a judge
If the thought of leaving control over your financial future in the hands of a judge makes you nervous, you can avoid litigated property division proceedings. Spouses have the right to file uncontested divorces when they have worked out a settlement outside of court. Mediation or negotiation between your attorneys could be the key to reaching an agreement that allows for an uncontested division of your property and any parental responsibilities that you share.
Learning more about what happens to marital property when people divorce in Texas will help you make better choices about your future.