When you were married, you acquired many assets and debts together. If you are going through divorce, you probably find yourself in the position of having to divide the property that you owned jointly and the debts that you acquired along the way.
There are very specific rules that you must follow in Texas and although the rules are basically the same across the United States, there are some differences from state to state.
As is the case in many of the other states, Texas has two categories of property when it comes to division in a divorce. There is community property and separate property. The final divorce papers will list the following:
- Community property that each spouse will keep or that will be sold and exactly how the money will be divided.
- Separate property of each spouse.
- Debts that each spouse must pay.
- The community property retirement benefits of each spouse are either given to one of the spouses or divided between the two spouses.
Exactly what is community property and debt?
Community property is defined as all of the property that you and your spouse possess at the time when you divorce. The only property that is not included in that is property that you and/or your spouse can prove truly belongs to only one spouse. Some examples of community property are a house or land, a business, car(s), retirement accounts, money, furniture or other items that were bought by either spouse while they were married.
If you are wondering exactly what is considered community debt, it is debt that either you or your spouse acquired during the marriage. According to the law, community property and debt must be divided when the couple gets divorced in a manner that is “just and right.” It is important to understand here that the division will not necessarily be 50/50.
What is separate property and debt?
Separate property includes property that either spouse owned before the marriage, property that was a gift or inheritance (and was received during the marriage), money that was received because of personal injuries, dividends on separate property that one of the spouses owns. Separate debt is considered debt that one spouse acquired before the marriage.
Separate property cannot be divided. Once it is deemed separate property, it is considered that way permanently.
Legal support to help you with property and debt division
It is difficult enough to go through a divorce and to figure out all of the different aspects in that situation while always acting in the best interests of the children. Property division is often complex and the advice of an experienced Texas divorce attorney may help you a great deal to get through the process and to look forward to a bright future for everyone concerned.