Is property split 50-50 in a Texas divorce?
Texas, like most states, treats property and assets obtained during a marriage as shared property, and it gives both spouses an equal right to it. But some people hear the words “equitable distribution of assets” and they think that means an equal distribution of property – like an imaginary line drawn right down the middle. However, equitable does not always mean equal. Assets may be distributed in a way that accounts for mitigating factors that favor one spouse or another. That’s why it is so important that you work with an experienced Texas divorce attorney. Your attorney will present the appropriate evidence to make the strongest case why you deserve certain assets or a greater share of them.
Take this example: One spouse is a high-powered CEO who is expected to continue making a six-figure salary for the foreseeable future, in addition to generous bonuses. Meanwhile, the other spouse started a career in accounting, but gave it up to stay home with the children. That spouse could start working again, but the earnings will always be significantly lower. A judge might give that spouse more of the marital assets, including sole possession of the marital home or a greater share of your spouse’s retirement funds, to make up for the lower earnings and to honor the sacrifice that was made to encourage the career of the other spouse and to raise the family.
Some of the many factors that the court may consider when dividing marital assets include:
- Earnings potential
- Expected inheritance of either spouse
- Whether marital property was created through one spouse’s pre-marital assets
- Whether separate property was improved through marital effort
- Whether one spouse wasted marital assets
- Marital debts
- Health of the spouses
- Age of the spouses
- Fault in the marriage
- Amount of temporary support paid by one spouse
- Amount of attorney fees each spouse has to pay
- Size of a spouse’s separate estate
- Gifts given to one spouse and not the other
Your attorney will use these and other factors to argue why you need or deserve to get more of the marital assets to protect the quality of life to which you were accustomed, to honor the benefits you brought to the marriage, or to compensate you for things you suffered as a result of the marriage. Equity doesn’t always mean equal – it’s about what is “just and right,” in the words of the law.
Call the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker to work with a Southlake divorce attorney who is committed to helping you get the divorce settlement you deserve. Call our office at (817) 332-7703 to schedule a free consultation, or use our secure online form.