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Texas marital property division

When people are considering a divorce in Fort Worth, they often have questions regarding how the property they have acquired during the marriage will be divided. Texas is a community property state, which means the courts view all property acquired during the marriage as being marital property no matter which spouse actually acquired it.

While most property acquired during the marriage is subject to division in a divorce, there are some types of property that are excluded. Property acquired before the marriage is considered separate as is property acquired during the marriage as a gift or inheritance. Property that was purchased with money that is separate property is also considered to be separate and thus not subject to division.

In Texas, the law allows for couples to sign premarital or marital agreements concerning property. These agreements can outline how property will be divided in the event a dissolution occurs. When such an agreement exists, parties should inform the court. Judges will follow the agreement when making divisions of debt and assets in the final divorce orders. When one spouse has contributed funds towards the other's separate debts or separate property, courts can also award money to reimburse them the amount of contribution.

Marital property division can be complicated, especially in high-asset cases or for those with pension and retirement accounts. For people in those situations, it may be beneficial to speak with a family law attorney to better understand how assets and debts are likely to be divided. A family law attorney can assist their clients by proposing a property division plan that will address all community property in a fair and reasonable manner. Attorneys can help their clients locate assets the other person is hiding as well.

Source: State Bar of Texas, "Pro Se Divorce Handbook", October 18, 2014

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