One of the reasons people put off filing for divorce is that they don’t know what to expect from the process. They share so much of their resources with their spouse that they worry about how they will live independently.
Not knowing what resources or assets you have to work with can make the idea of divorce seem that much more imposing. Litigated divorce is somewhat unpredictable because a judge makes the final determination about what happens with your property.
However, if you learn about Texas state law, it will be easier for you to have a rough idea of what to expect.
What is the Texas method for property division during the divorce?
The judge must treat your marital resources like community property. Texas has a community property statute that gives both spouses a right to an interest in the income and possessions of the other in the event or visit of a divorce.
Regardless of who earned more or which name is on the ownership paperwork for different property, if either spouse acquired it during the marriage or using marital income, then those assets may be subject to division in the divorce. Exactly how a judge will divide the property is difficult to predict how even if you can roughly estimate the pool of marital property that the courts will divide.
The community property statute does not always lead to a 50/50 division of your property. A judge can deviate from that and order a very different division of your assets based on what they think would be fair.
Litigation isn’t your only option
If the idea of a judge splitting all of your property makes you nervous, you can potentially avoid giving someone else control over your financial future. Spouses who negotiate their own property division settlements can decide for themselves the most appropriate way to share their marital resources. They present their plans to the courts, which means that a judge only has to review and approve the agreement the couple reaches.
People who understand how the courts divide property may have an easier time negotiating a settlement because they can use the community property standard as a baseline. The more assets you have and the greater importance you place on retaining specific property in the divorce, the greater the incentive you may have to cooperate with your spouse for property division purposes.
Educating yourself about what happens in a Texas divorce can help you strategize for the best outcome in your case.