Common Misconceptions about Property Division in Texas
Good morning, I’m Marivonne Essex, and I am the Red Headed Lawyer. I want to talk to you today about some common misconceptions that people have about property division in Texas. These are the things I see when people come in to talk to me about getting a divorce. Property division in Texas is very misunderstood. The first thing to understand is that Texas is a community property state. What that means is that anything accumulated during the marriage, as long as it was not given to a person, or they did not inherit it, is community property. Anything that was accumulated prior to the marriage, or was given to a person, or was inherited, the judge doesn’t get to divide. He or she divides what was accumulated during the marriage under these circumstances. What I hear from people is, “Well, I know the judge will make the division and he’ll make it 50-50” or “I’m really sure that the judge will just make a decision in my favor because that’s what’s fair.” Neither one of those is true unfortunely. The standard in Texas is a just and right division, not a 50-50 division. The judge may consider a 50-50 division unfair, although it is common to see a 50-50 division. So the most important thing about property division is to understand that we are a community property state, that a 50-50 division is not necessarily the division that will take place. Then the next important thing to do, in which we do very carefully in my office is, document the community property that was accumulated, and we do that in a spreadsheet form so you see exactly, in dollars and cents, what you have and what that’s worth, and what we think, and we believe, based on our 32 years of experience, a judge will decide as to your community property. I would really love to talk to you about this in person. It’s much more complicated than it appears, and it is important and can affect you for the rest of your life, so please give us a call.