When it comes to divorce, there is an important classification that varies depending on which state you live in: whether the state is a community property state. There are only nine states that have community property jurisdiction, and Texas is one of them.
The basic overall definition of a community property state is that it is one in which any assets a couple acquires during their marriage belong to both spouses. Because Texas is a community property state, this general rule applies to assets in Texas divorces.
Implications of community property on divorce
There are many misunderstandings when it comes to the implications of community property in divorce and the division of marital assets in the divorce process. For example, many people assume that community property automatically means that all the assets get divided up right down the middle. However, this is not entirely accurate.
The state's courts treat property division in a divorce under the principle of community property, therefore equally distributing the assets a couple acquires during marriage, but some exceptions may apply. For example, if a court awarded a personal injury settlement to one of the spouses during the marriage, the court may not see that as community property for the purposes of asset division during the divorce.
Debts are also a part of community property
Assets are not the only financial considerations that a couple needs to take into account during divorce proceedings. Any debt that the couple acquired during the course of their marriage is also applicable under the concept of community property. Therefore, the court will also generally treat debts as equally divisible between the divorcing spouses.
Community property is a unique judicial consideration that only comes into play in nine states, Texas included. If your marriage is ending, you should fully inform yourself of the particulars surrounding community property and asset division before making any decisions regarding your financial future.