Dividing up marital property in a community property state can be trickier than you might expect. Only a small handful of states, including Texas, use community property guidelines to determine property division, and if you choose to divorce here, your property division must comply.
Under community property guidelines, marital property is mostly split right down the middle. However, some circumstances may compel a judge to order that one spouse or the other take a greater or lesser portion of marital assets. Some of the factors that may influence how a judge weighs in on property division may include
- Differences in the earning capacity of spouses
- The physical condition of a spouse who requires special medical help to manage a condition
- Differences in age between spouses, where one spouse has much less earning potential left in his or her career
- Custody of children, especially as it pertains to one spouse keeping a marital home
- Marital failures, such as cruelty within the marriage or adultery
These factors regularly compel a judge to award some assets unevenly to one spouse or the other. If you believe that one or more of these factors may affect your property division, it is important that you take this into account before you enter into the property division phase of your divorce.
Of course, the guidance of an experienced attorney can help you anticipate these issues and ensure that you keep your rights and priorities protected throughout your divorce. While this season may seem difficult to see beyond, your attorney can work by your side to help you keep perspective as you rebuild your life and begin a new season.
Source: Findlaw, “Community Property Overview,” accessed Sep. 15, 2017