Becoming a homeowner is an incredible accomplishment. And as most people’s largest asset, it makes sense that keeping their home (or being adequately compensated for it) is most people’s main concern.
Understanding Property Division in Texas
1. “Should I sell my house before or after my divorce?”
If neither you nor your spouse will be living in your family home after the divorce, you’re going to have to sell it at some point. The benefits of selling it before filing for divorce are:
- Additional funds that can be put towards other housing or the divorce itself.
- The emotional benefits of starting off fresh.
However, selling it before a divorce can also have a few drawbacks. If you and your spouse don’t agree on a price, agent or other aspects of the sale, this could delay the sale and your ability to file for divorce.
2. “Is Texas a community property state?”
Yes. As a community property state, most of the assets (cars, houses, savings, investments, etc.) acquired during a marriage are believed to belong to both spouses. In the event of a divorce, all community property is to be divided justly. If the couple can not come to an agreement themselves, Texas courts will determine how property and assets are divided.
3. “What’s the difference between community and separate property?”
Community property refers to property a couple purchased during their marriage. And even though Texas is a community property state, it’s possible to still have separate property. Separate property could be property you bought or inherited before you were married. In the event of a divorce, separate property would not be divided between you and your spouse.
4. “Is community property always divided 50/50?”
A common misconception is that everything is “split 50/50” in the event of a divorce. Texas courts require community property to be split in a way that’s “just and right.” When deciding how property is split, courts may consider additional circumstances, including:
- Fault in the breakup of the marriage.
- Each spouse’s income.
- Each spouse's health.
- Which spouse has custody of the children.
5. Do my spouse and I have any say in how property is divided?
Yes! Many people going through a divorce for the first time don’t realize that they have a lot of control in the process. Despite what you may see on TV, most divorces aren’t decided by the courts. If you and your spouse can agree to the terms of your divorce and property division through mediation, a judge will likely sign off on it. Courts typically only step in if your divorce is highly contested and you and your spouse can not come to an agreement.
6. “I have a small business. Will my partner be entitled to half?”
This is a common, but complicated question. Whether or not your business is considered community property will depend on a few factors, including when it was started, if your spouse financially helped you start it, and if your spouse ever worked for or aided the business.
7. “My name isn’t on the deed of our house. Is it still community property?”
Even if your name isn’t listed on the deed, your house (or land) is considered community property if it was purchased when you were married.
Ready to put an experienced, dedicated team on your side? Contact Andrae Law, PLLC at (512) 668-7133 to speak with our seasoned divorce lawyers today.