Because divorce can prove an uncertain and anxious event with emotions running high, couples divorcing in Texas may already be at their maximum stress levels. It can be difficult to logically consider how you will divide your assets, but it is necessary to finalize your divorce. An understanding and compassionate divorce attorney can assist in helping you understand Texas law and figure out your next steps. Divorcing in Texas is nothing if not straightforward, and the state allows for no-fault divorces.
Texas is a community property state
As a community property state, Texas considers all assets acquired during the marriage as marital property. This means that they belong to both spouses and must be divided equally regardless of which spouse may have contributed more. This includes any property, income, retirement accounts and debt.
When dividing assets and debts, a divorce court will consider a few different factors including fault. Other factors the courts will use when dividing community property include:
- The age and health of both spouses
- Earning potential differences
- Gifts from spouse to spouse
- Gifts to a paramour or wasting of community funds
- Properties owned outside of Texas
A fault or no-fault divorce in Texas
Even though you can file for a no-fault divorce, it may be wise to consider including fault if there is one. Fault can include abandonment for a year or longer, incarceration for a year or longer, mental hospital admission for three years, adultery and living apart for three years or longer.
Agreeing to property distribution
Once the petitioner has filed for divorce and the respondent has answered, they can try to divide their assets and liabilities on their own or with a divorce lawyer’s help. If they are unable to agree, a trial date is set. By law, both spouses must then participate in mediation before the trial. Once the trial is over, a judge must sign the divorce decree containing all provisions.