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How Does Property Division Work in a Texas Divorce?  

Posted on in Property Division

palo pinto divorce lawyerWhen a couple weds, “yours” and “mine” become “ours.” Whether intentional or unintentional, spouses’ finances almost always become entangled during a marriage. Separating assets and debts is often a significant hurdle during the divorce process.

If you are thinking about getting divorced, you may have questions about how property is divided between spouses in Texas. Who keeps the marital home? What about vacation homes and rental properties? Will I be responsible for my spouse’s debts? The answers to these questions vary from case to case, based on several different factors. Read on to learn more.

Community Property is Divided Equally

States vary with regard to property division during divorce. Texas is a community property state. This means that almost all of the income and assets acquired by either spouse are considered community property or marital property. Both spouses have a right to an equal share of community property.

Separate property or non-marital property includes property that a spouse acquired before getting married, property acquired by gift or inheritance, and certain types of personal injury claim payouts.

Division of Debt in a Texas Divorce

Debt is treated similarly to property in a Texas divorce. Texas law states that debts acquired by either spouse during a divorce are community debts for which both parties are responsible. Separate debt is debt a spouse acquired before the marriage. However, courts have the authority to divide debts in a way that is “just and right” so debts are not always divided 50/50.

It should be noted that creditors do not automatically absolve a person of a debt obligation just because they got divorced. If your spouse says he or she will pay off a joint debt but fails to do so, a creditor may pursue you for payment. This is why many divorce lawyers encourage spouses to pay off as much of their debt as possible during a divorce.

Many Factors Can Complicate Property and Debt Division  

The division of assets and debts in a divorce is rarely as straightforward as it may seem. One issue that complicates the property division process is commingled or mixed property.

Consider an example: A spouse purchases a house before getting married. During the marriage, both spouses live in the home and contribute to the mortgage payments. Community property rules state that assets acquired before marriage are separate assets held solely by the spouse that owns them. So, it may initially seem that only one spouse has a right to the house. However, because both spouses contributed to the mortgage payments, both spouses may be entitled to a share of the home’s value.  

Contact a Palo Pinto Divorce Lawyer

The division of property and debt during a divorce can be complex and making mistakes during property division can be extremely costly.

If you are getting divorced, contact Parker County divorce lawyer Kary L. Key for help with property division, child custody, spousal support, and other divorce issues.  Call The Law Offices of Kary L. Key at 817-599-6969 for an initial consultation.


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