A common question that spouses often ask soon after committing to the idea that divorce is what’s best for them is what will become of their property during this process.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question due to each case being unique. There are, however, a few concepts that you may want to master that will aid you in gaining a clearer picture of what to expect.
A few factors affecting how property is viewed in Texas include:
Separate versus community property
One of the first concepts you’ll want to understand is the difference between separate and community property. The former is any property that two spouses brought into the marriage. Separate property can also refer to other ones that were explicitly gifted during the marriage, such as an inheritance or gift from your spouse. Any assets acquired by the couple jointly during the marriage are marital property (also called community property here in Texas).
What it means to be a community property state
Most of the assets you acquire from your marriage onward in states like Texas generally qualify as community property. This property is generally equally divisible between you and your spouse when you divorce unless it’s covered by a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
When conflict may arise in sorting out property division matters
Contention may arise as divorcing couples try to reach a settlement on property division. Sorting out what is separate and community property can prove challenging. The concept of commingling is often to blame.
Commingling involves making separate assets available to your spouse. Or, it can also mean taking funds that were just yours and using them to pay household bills. Any assets that have been mixed like this are subject to being divided in half like any other marital asset.
When you hear that asset division took a contentious turn in a community property state like Texas, it often has to do with the discovery of hidden or commingled assets. If you’re dealing with a similar scenario, you’ll want to put up an aggressive fight to secure the property to which you feel entitled.