An image illustrating the division of assets and property in a marriage, providing a visual guide to understanding marital property awards.

The division of marital property in Texas is a nuanced process, and the Texas Family Code provides the roadmap. Here’s a closer look at Chapter 7, with practical implications for those navigating divorce or annulment.

1. General Rule of Property Division (Sec. 7.001)

What it Says: The court divides the estate based on what’s “just and right,” considering both parties and any children.

Implication: This doesn’t necessarily mean a 50/50 split. If one spouse stayed at home or sacrificed their career, the court might award them a larger portion of the marital assets.

2. Special Circumstances for Property Division (Sec. 7.002)

What it Says: The court can divide properties acquired in another state or exchanged properties that might have been community property in Texas.

Implication: Even if you acquired property while living elsewhere, it might still be divided in your Texas divorce. Legal consultation is crucial to understand the specifics.

3. Retirement and Employment Benefits (Sec. 7.003)

What it Says: Both spouses’ rights in pensions, retirement plans, and other financial plans will be determined.

Implication: Your retirement savings, even if saved separately, might be subject to division. It’s essential to know the exact value of these assets.

4. Rights in Insurance (Sec. 7.004 – Sec. 7.005)

What it Says: The court will decide the rights each spouse has in insurance policies.

Implication: If you’re dependent on your spouse’s insurance, you need to make alternate arrangements post-divorce, unless the decree specifies otherwise.

5. Agreements Incident to Divorce (Sec. 7.006)

What it Says: Spouses can draft agreements regarding property division. The court may incorporate these if they’re just and right.

Implication: Drafting a clear, comprehensive agreement can expedite the divorce process. However, ensure it’s fair to avoid potential court challenges.

6. Claims for Reimbursement (Sec. 7.007)

What it Says: The court will address claims for reimbursement between spouses.

Implication: If you’ve contributed personal funds (like inheritance) to joint assets, you might be entitled to reimbursement.

7. Consideration of Taxes (Sec. 7.008)

What it Says: Taxes on specific assets might be considered in division.

Implication: Selling assets like a home might incur taxes. It’s wise to understand tax implications before agreeing to any division.

8. Fraud on the Community (Sec. 7.009)

What it Says: If a spouse depletes the community estate fraudulently, the court will ensure a fair division of the remaining estate.

Implication: If you suspect your spouse is hiding or wasting assets, it’s crucial to have legal and financial experts investigate.

Conclusion

The division of marital property in Texas requires a deep understanding of the legal landscape and its practical implications. Armed with this knowledge, you can approach divorce negotiations more confidently.

To retain an experienced Texas divorce lawyer for your divorce or child custody case in DallasDentonCollin or Rockwall County, please schedule a consultation with us today.