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Do divorcing couples in Texas need to split everything evenly?

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | Divorce |

A Texas divorce can trigger numerous types of disputes. Many couples have young children, which means that they must negotiate custody arrangements. Sometimes, there are financial support matters to handle as well. Not every couple needs to reach a custody arrangement or an agreement about spousal maintenance or alimony. However, almost every divorcing couple in Texas has property division issues to address. Property obtained during the marriage is part of the marital estate, and spouses have to find a way to share those assets with one another.

Those who cannot settle outside of court typically move forward with contested or litigated divorce proceedings. A Texas family law judge will then decide how to divide their marital property.

An even division of assets isn’t always appropriate

Community property statutes in Texas are not as simplistic as people often assume. The law does propose a 50/50 division of marital assets or community property as the starting point for property division matters. Still, judges and spouses have the authority to deviate from that 50/50 standard in a variety of different cases.

Spouses can potentially set whatever property division terms they both agree are fair in an uncontested divorce. Judges also have the authority to award one spouse far more of the marital estate or make them responsible for more marital debts based on their understanding of marital circumstances.

A judge could award one spouse more property if doing so seems reasonable and fair given what occurred during the marriage and the current economic circumstances of each spouse. Therefore, those preparing for property division negotiations often need to spend time performing a thorough review of their finances and gathering evidence about unique issues that might influence negotiations or the final determination of a judge.

It is possible for many couples to amicably resolve property division disputes with one another once they actually understand what community property rules mean in the event of a litigated divorce. Understanding that a 50/50 split is only the starting point for negotiations may help people feel more confident about seeking a fair outcome during asset division negotiations.