Property division in Texas is a very intricate matter that can have adverse financial impacts on how you proceed with your life after divorce. This pressure that people have over the process has resulted in a lot of speculation, much of which are false.
Property is always divided 50-50
There is no such thing as an even split in terms of assets and debts. While Texas is indeed a community property state, your property will be divided based on the judge’s determination of what’s fair in regard to the circumstances of your marriage. Some of the factors that may dictate what you get include:
• The length of your marriage
• Your ability to support yourself after the divorce
• The value of the property and debt to be divided
• If there was marital misconduct that affected your finances
If it’s owned in my name, it is mine to keep
In a community property state like Texas, any assets or debts acquired during the marriage are considered jointly owned by both spouses, regardless of whose name is on the account. This means that even if something is only in your name, your spouse may still be entitled to part of its value.
I get to keep my retirement accounts
Retirement accounts are considered marital property in Texas; hence, they are treated like all your other assets. However, the process of division here can get a little more complicated. For example, there are some plans that don’t honor Texas property division terms, like redirecting benefits to a non-employee after a divorce. In such an instance, the judge might issue a Qualified Domestic Relations Order that would allow you to get your share of the retirement account.
I can give away or sell my property before the divorce
Not only is this a property division myth, but also a huge mistake. Once you’ve filed for divorce, all your assets are considered marital property and subject to split. This means that if you sell or give away any property, you’re doing so without the court’s permission and could be held in contempt.
As you can see, property division in Texas is far from black and white. These myths can cause a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety during an already difficult time.