Austin Property Division Attorney

Helping Clients Protect Their Assets in a Texas Divorce

Property division is often the most contentious and impactful part of the Texas divorce process. The outcome of your property division dispute could significantly affect your post-divorce financial stability, so taking the property division process seriously is essential.

Have questions about property division in Texas? Contact our Austin property division lawyer at (512) 991-0576 or reach out to us online.

Community Property Laws in Texas

Community property refers to the joint ownership of property between spouses that was acquired during their marriage. In Texas, this means that both spouses have an equal ownership interest in all income, property, and debts that were acquired during their marriage. 

The idea behind community property is to recognize that marriage is a partnership where both parties contribute equally, and thus, both parties are entitled to an equal share of any property acquired during their marriage. It is important to note that this does not necessarily mean that all property is split 50/50 in the event of a divorce; rather, the court will consider a number of factors to determine a fair division of assets. 

Understanding community property laws in Texas is essential for anyone going through a divorce, and it is always best to seek the advice of an Austin property division attorney to ensure that your rights are protected.

How Are Assets Divided in a Texas Divorce?

When dividing property in a Texas divorce, the court will consider numerous factors in order to make a fair and just distribution. 

Some of the main factors that are taken into account include: 

  • The length of the marriage
  • The earning potential of each spouse
  • The contributions made by each party to the marriage
  • Any health issues or disabilities of either spouse
  • The size of the estate

Additionally, the court may consider any instances of marital misconduct such as adultery or domestic violence. They will also examine any prenuptial agreements that may be in place. Ultimately, the goal is to create a property settlement that is fair to both parties, taking into account the unique circumstances of each case.

Marital Assets vs. Separate Property

Texas is a community property state, meaning the court equally divides marital assets and liabilities between the parties. The only assets or liabilities exempt from property division is separate property.  

Separate property is something you (and only you) explicitly own, such as:

Property Acquired Before Marriage

Any property that was acquired by either spouse before the marriage is considered separate property and will not be divided in a Texas divorce. This includes any real estate, bank accounts, investments, vehicles, or other assets that were owned by either spouse prior to the marriage.

Gifts and Inheritances

Gifts and inheritances received by either spouse during the marriage are also considered separate property in a Texas divorce. This includes both tangible items such as jewelry or artwork, as well as financial gifts or inheritances such as stocks or cash.

Personal Injury Awards

Awards received from personal injury lawsuits are also considered separate property in a Texas divorce. This applies to both economic damages such as medical expenses or lost wages, as well as non-economic damages such as pain and suffering or emotional distress.

Retirement Accounts 

Retirement accounts including 401(k)s and IRAs may also be considered separate property if they were established prior to the marriage. However, any contributions made to these accounts after the date of marriage may be subject to division depending on how they were funded.

Who Gets the House?

Marital property is anything that both parties have contributed to. 

For example, let's say you buy a house before you get married, and only your name is on the deed. Now, suppose that during your marriage, your partner pays for an addition on the house. Assuming the addition contributes to the property's value, the house would become marital property (unless you have a prenup or similar legal contract stating otherwise).

The court may ask you to sell the marital house and give you the majority of the profits since you bought the house, but give your soon-to-be-ex a cut since they paid for the addition. If you want to keep the marital home, the court may ask you to "buy out" your spouse by paying them however much the addition cost.

How Is Debt Divided?

When going through the divorce process, one important consideration is how the couple's debts will be divided. Texas is a community property state, which means that any property acquired during the marriage is considered community property and is subject to division in a divorce. 

This includes debts incurred during the marriage, such as credit card balances, mortgages, and car loans. 

However, the court will take into account several factors when determining how to divide the debt, including the earning potential of each spouse and the circumstances surrounding the debt. It is important to work with an experienced attorney to ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

Contact Our Austin Property Division Lawyers

Property division can quickly get complicated if the parties possess complex or high-value assets, or disagree on how to split it. Our property division attorney in Austin will work with financial professionals like certified public accountants (CPAs) specializing in asset valuation to help you identify the best path forward in your property division.

Contact us online or call us at (512) 991-0576 to speak with one of our property division lawyers in Austin.

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