Texas is a community property state which means that in a divorce, anything considered to be marital property is dispersed equally between the spouses.
The same goes for marital debt, which is also divided between the spouses; however, this idea is not as black and white as it might seem as family divorce attorneys point out that there are shades of gray within the determination of who gets what.
In other words, just because property distribution is done on a community property basis, that does not automatically mean each spouse gets half of everything.
Is A 50/50 Split Just A Guideline?
In fact, there are many instances when divorce attorneys recommend that the division of marital community property is not 50/50 when certain circumstances exist.
The 50/50 split of community property is a guideline from which to start when dividing assets like cash, retirement accounts, investment accounts, and personal property, but it is not a hard and fast rule when there is evidence that one spouse needs or deserves more.
Court Will Disburse Most Fairly
Technically, the court retains the right to disperse marital property in a way that is deemed “most fair,” starting with a basis of each spouse getting half of the wealth.
Since divorce attorneys are well aware of this and have a good idea of what the family court considers fair, they help their clients understand this idea and what would be most fair in their specific situation.
What Affects Fairness in Family Court?
What can affect fairness in the division of marital community property according to divorce lawyers?
Assuming that each spouse begins with half of the wealth being allotted to them, fairness concerns anything that either argues that one spouse has greater needs than the other and should therefore get more of the wealth or that one spouse has behaved badly in some way and should give up some of the wealth.
What Constitutes Greater Need?
Examples of greater needs that a family divorce attorney might argue in court for their client, include disability, an inability to generate enough income, being a victim of some kind of abuse from the other spouse, being the conservator of the couple’s children, and similar things.
Examples of behaviors that divorce attorneys might also argue to suggest the other spouse should give up some of their wealth include being the spouse at fault for the reason for the divorce, the other spouse being responsible for some kind of abuse to their client, the other spouse having a considerably higher paying job and better ability to fend for themselves, and related reasons.
Consult With a Divorce Lawyer for Help
So, while Texas divorce lawyers do advise clients that they are entitled to half of the marital property, when extenuating circumstances exist, those could legally tip the asset scale in favor of one spouse or the other with regard to fairness.
Fairness is still a factor when dividing up community property in a Texas divorce.