Unlike most states, the state of Texas does not recognize legal separation. This means that in Texas, when you are officially married, you remain so until the court system finalizes your divorce decree. This fact plays a major role in property division.
In Texas, most property acquired by either spouse during marriage is considered community property, which will be divided between the two spouses during divorce. Any property or assets acquired after the date of separation as determined by the court is considered separate property. It is important to understand how this works when it comes to your case. For example, you may think just because you and your spouse are no longer living together that you are considered separated in the eyes of the law. However, this is not the case. If you have a joint bank account, your spouse could be using funds from that account to pay for things while you are not living together but not yet divorced. Furthermore, your separated spouse could start purchasing cars, houses, and other costly items after separation. These purchases or properties may belong to you, too. You may be entitled to ownership or the proceeds from any sale transactions. Because of what is at stake, you need to consult an attorney who will track the spending and advocate for your rights during mediation or court trials.
One important thing to mention is that Texas is not like most community property states in that the court divides property in a “just and fair” way rather than a straight 50/50 split. Many people are under the assumption that things will be split right down the middle, but that is not always the case.
If you are thinking of getting a divorce or if you think your spouse is considering one, please consult our Texas divorce attorneys. We are here to help you understand your options and create a strategy best suited for your specific needs. Get started today by scheduling your consultation.