Property division is one of the most frequently contested aspects of divorce. This part of the divorce process can become especially contentious when there is an imbalance between each spouse's income and accumulated wealth.
According to an article from Business Insider, Texas is one of the best states for divorcing a rich spouse. Business Insider takes this position based on the fact that Texas is one of several community property states, "where a 50/50 split applies." However, Business Insider overlooked an important issue: each state sets its own rules for how community property is divided, and Texas does not guarantee a 50/50 split.
How Community Property Really Works In Texas
While some community property states may call for a 50/50 split, Texas is not one of them. Instead, Texas calls for a division of property that is just and right. A variety of factors can lead to a disproportionate division of property, including fault, the age and health of the spouses, the income and earning capacity of the spouses, and more.
It is also important to understand what community property is. Essentially, community property includes all assets accumulated by both spouses during the marriage, with few exceptions. All community property is subject to division, including businesses, business interests and retirement accounts.
Property acquired prior to the marriage may be considered separate property and not subject to division. However, there is a presumption that all assets are community property and it is the responsibility of the owner of separate property to prove that it is indeed separate property to protect it from division.
Pursuing A Fair Division Of Property
Getting a fair outcome in terms of property division requires diligence and knowledge of the law. An experienced lawyer can help you properly characterize your separate property and prevent your spouse from mischaracterizing community property. An experienced lawyer can ensure that all factors come to light that could shift the balance of property division in your favor, and challenge any attempts made by your spouse to unfairly shift property away from you.