Dividing Marital Property in a Texas Divorce
In Texas, there is a form of no-fault divorce wherein the parties to the marriage can obtain a divorce on the grounds that it has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities to the extent that the conflict destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation. Other grounds for divorce include cruelty, adultery, conviction of a felony, abandonment, living apart and confinement in a mental hospital.
Once the grounds for divorce have been established and the divorce is filed, one of the most important aspects of any divorce proceeding is the division of the property between the parties to the marriage relationship.
Texas is one of nine community property states in the United States; the others are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Washington and Wisconsin. Community property is generally defined as all of the property acquired by the parties during the marriage relationship, other than separate property, and is divided equally between the parties. Unless proven otherwise, the property possessed by the parties is presumed to be community property. However, Texas does not adhere to an exact 50/50 split upon divorce, which means that a court may order "equitable distribution" according to the needs or capability of each former spouse.
Separate property is the property owned by one of the parties prior to the beginning of the marriage relationship; acquired during the marriage relationship by gift, devise or decent and any recovery for personal injuries other than lost earnings.
The process of the distribution of property between former spouses in a divorce can be very emotional, and often it is necessary to have a mediator sit down with the parties and their respective attorneys to resolve the differences. This is especially true when there are considerable employer-provided stock option plans or other retirement benefits that need to be divided. Once this is accomplished, it is of utmost importance to have a carefully drafted property settlement agreement prepared and executed by the parties so that there can be no mistake about what was agreed.
Property settlement agreements should only be drafted by an attorney who is experienced in family law matters. San Antonio family law attorney Allan R. Manka has more than 40 years of experience practicing family law. He has helped many clients in San Antonio and the surrounding areas of Pleasanton, Jourdanton, Hondo, Boerne and New Braunfels, in addition to serving those at Lackland and Randolph Air Force Bases.
Contact us at (210) 807-8629 or (866) 621-7085 (Toll-free) to schedule your confidential, no obligation consultation to discuss your specific needs and expectations in your family law matter. Our experienced staff will work with you every step of the way and keep you advised about the progress being made in your case.
Texas Family Code