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How the courts apply community property laws in a Texas divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2024 | Family Law

People considering divorce in Texas often worry about the practical implications of ending a marriage. They may have shared income and property with their spouse for years and may, therefore, worry about whether divorce could impact their standard of living and/or retirement plans. Divorce inevitably influences someone’s finances and personal circumstances, and the exact outcome can be difficult to predict if people litigate. Many people dislike being uncertain about what might happen to their finances if they file for divorce. The Bowen Law firm can help.

Most people know that Texas is a community property state, but they may not fully understand what that means in the context of a divorce. Community property laws in Texas constantly change, and people need to understand them in order to feel comfortable moving forward with a divorce. How does a judge handle community property in a litigated Texas divorce scenario?

Community property rules are not what most people expect

Only a small fraction of states in the country have a community property statute on record. Therefore, there is a lot of misinformation about what community property actually means for those preparing for divorce.

People frequently assume that Texas community property rules require a 50/50 split of marital resources. However, that is not actually true. The community property statute in Texas gives judges more discretion than that. Judges typically look at the marital circumstances carefully when considering property division matters.

They can very easily reach the conclusion that an even split of marital property isn’t appropriate. Factors including the separate property of the spouses, their health, their earning potential and even their custody arrangements can affect what a judge believes may be appropriate. They can divide the assets and debts in a way that is quite far from a 50/50 split of the assets.

At the Bowen Law Firm we know the difficult truth is that there is no certainty in litigated property division proceedings. Much is left to the discretion of the judge based on their perception of the marriage. In scenarios where spouses have specific needs related to property division matters, negotiations to resolve property division disputes could allow spouses to reach a settlement where they control the outcome.

Learning about how Texas handles divorce proceedings may benefit those who believe the end of their marriage is near. The Bowen Law firm can help.