Protecting Your Interests In Property Division Proceedings

Whether you have been married for decades or only for a short time, you and your spouse will have accumulated some assets during the marriage. It is important to understand how the law in Texas treats this property, so that you know what will happen if your marriage ends up not working out.

At The Springer Law Firm in Katy, our attorneys have worked with many clients who have had questions about the division of marital property. We wanted to explain some of the basics to you, so that you know more about the process, and can feel confident about making the right decisions for your specific situation.

What Is Marital Property?

In short, marital property is anything that you and your spouse acquired during the marriage. If you and your spouse bought a car while married, it is marital property. If you own a home together, it is likely that it is marital property. Anything — from the paycheck you earn at work to the groceries in the fridge, is considered to belong to both spouses if it was earned during the marriage or purchased with marital assets.

Understanding Community Property Issues

Texas is a community property state, and under the law, all property that is considered "marital property" is subject to a 50-50 split during the divorce. This can often cause serious problems between the spouses when trying to come to an agreement on property division matters. Being prepared can help you and your spouse focus on practical solutions instead of fighting over every little thing.

Does It Matter Who Acquired The Property?

Not generally. There are some exceptions which we will cover below, but, for the most part, if it was acquired during the marriage, it is marital property. Your paycheck. Your spouse's paycheck. The car. The house. All of it. It belongs equally to each person, and is subject to a 50-50 split.

Are There Any Exceptions To What Is Defined As Marital Property?

Yes. If you owned something prior to the marriage, such as a house, the value that you contributed prior to the marriage will be excluded from the list of property to be divided. That does not mean that the entire house is yours; if your spouse contributed to house payments after the marriage, he or she will have an interest in the amount of their contributions. It will be necessary to determine the value of these contributions during the property division process.

Additionally, items such as gifts or inheritances will also be excluded from the pile of marital assets. Certain other assets may be excluded as well, but, in general, most of the property acquired during the marriage will be subject to division.

Talk To A Divorce Lawyer Who Can Protect Your Rights

We know that this might be confusing for you, and only add to the uncertainty that you are currently experiencing. We would be happy to discuss your case with you, and learn more about your options. To schedule your consultation with one of our lawyers, please call our Katy office at 281-616-7540 or send us an email.