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What are the major factors in a Texas property settlement?

As you contemplate getting a Texas divorce, you would do well to familiarize yourself with Texas law pertaining to property settlement agreements. As you probably already know, Texas is a community property state, meaning that in general, Texas considers all property you and your spouse have accumulated during your marriage to be marital property owned jointly by the two of you. What you may not realize, however, but as FindLaw points out, is that this does not mean that you and your spouse must divide your marital property, i.e., your community property, exactly half and half when you divorce.

What a divorce judge looks for in any property settlement agreement that you and your spouse come to is that it treats not only both of you fairly, but also your children. Thus, any property either of you acquired during your marriage while living in another state must only be divided fairly, not precisely equally. This rule also applies to any property either of you acquired in exchange for other property. Normally all such property would constitute Texas marital property if it constituted marital property in the state in which you acquired it, but these are the two exceptions.

Separate property

You need not divide your separate property with your spouse at all. It belongs to you and you alone, no matter when you acquired it, either prior to or during your marriage. Such separate property includes the following:

  • Property you owned prior to your marriage
  • Personal gifts you received during your marriage
  • Property you inherited during your marriage
  • Property you acquired during your marriage while living in another state if that state considered it separate property at the time you acquired it
  • Property you exchanged during your marriage for separate property you owned at the time

In addition, the court likely will consider the employment income you and your spouse received on or after January 1 of the year in which you filed for divorce as your respective separate property if you and your spouse execute a written agreement to this effect.

This is educational information only and you should not interpret it as legal advice.

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