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Community property, separate property and your divorce

Divorce is not a decision made lightly. Deciding to end a relationship once built on love can leave spouses who were once on the same page squabbling over everything.

It helps to know some of the key factors when it comes to dividing things. Few things elicit as much as emotion as splitting money and property during a divorce. One party usually comes out feeling shorted. Do you understand the difference between separate property and community property? If not, take a peek at some of these facts for some key takeaways before negotiations begin.

Property basics

Texas is a community property state meaning everything acquired during the marriage gets split between the parties at the time of divorce (including debt). If one or both also has separate possessions - property owned before the divorce and kept separate - those do not get put into the marital pot to split. Each person keeps what he or she acquired prior to the union.

Factors that determine the split

Do not assume that the division of property is always even. When a court decides how to split community property, it considers several factors. These include the following:

  • Earning potential of each party
  • The proportionate share of child rearing
  • Age of each party
  • Responsibility for the breakdown of the marriage
  • Child custody determination
  • Alimony expectations

Another thing a court considers is separate property, or more specifically if one party has a substantial amount of it. If separate property throws off the balance of the division of community property, a court may shift the balance by giving more of the community pot to the other spouse.

Dividing property in Texas during a divorce hinges on a few factors. Community property always gets divided and separate property does not. As you go through the divorce process, keep in mind that when the dust settles, you can begin the rebuilding process.

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