Property division in a Texas divorce can be one of the most contentious aspects of ending your marriage and moving on with your life. It can be further complicated when you own multiple homes that are part of the marital property. Not only does it raise questions about who should live where, but it can also impact other aspects of your property division.
To be clear about the possible impacts, discuss your situation with the help of a Texas divorce attorney. You’ll learn more about how to prepare for property division and other aspects of divorce, too.
Property Division Basics in Texas
Texas is known as a community property state. Therefore, the majority of property the couple has accumulated throughout the marriage belongs to both spouses and must be divided between them as part of the divorce. When the divorce is finished, any separate property that either person brought into the marriage is theirs to keep. How the judge determines which property is separate and which is community is vital for your property division. You can always speak with your Texas family lawyer to learn more about some of your concerns and discuss the specifics of your case.
Particularly when you and your spouse own multiple properties, it can be beneficial to agree on your own about property division and then submit it to the court. More commonly, however, divorcing spouses cannot agree, leaving property division to become a matter for the courts to decide.
Texas law typically classifies community property as all property that either spouse acquires throughout the marriage, with a critical exemption for any property that belongs to an individual separately. For example, if one spouse inherited property from a deceased loved one during the marriage, the Texas family courts will likely classify it as separate property. Other common examples of separate property include gifts received by only one spouse and funds associated with a personal injury damage award. The party that claims some or part of a property is separate must prove it. Otherwise, the Texas family court starts with the underlying assumption that all property is community property.
Dividing Community Property on Divorce
When community property exists within a marriage, its fate must be determined by agreement between the divorcing spouses or the court judge. Remember that Texas family courts do not divide things evenly based on the number of items or expected value. Instead, judges have discretion based on what is “just and right.” Judges consider numerous factors in that process, including:
- Each spouse’s health
- The current earnings and earnings potential of both spouses
- Education held by each spouse
- Each spouse’s likelihood to become employed in the future
With a second home in the picture, the courts might see it as fair and just to award the first home to the parent with residential custody if that is where they plan to live. The judge might award the second home to the other spouse, but this all depends on the factors of your divorce.
Why You Need a Lawyer for Property Division
As you can tell by reading this far, the judge wields significant influence on property awards. If the judge believes you are not entitled to property or that receiving it would be unfair or unjust, you may be unable to keep the first or the second home. If you have already attempted to work things out with your spouse and have not reached an agreement, you may wish to discuss the situation with your Texas family lawyer to learn more about your options. The ability to showcase what you believe to be fair and just is the first step in the process, but it does not necessarily mean that the judge will agree.
The sooner you can hire a lawyer, the easier it is to determine how your case will likely unfold in the Texas court. Because many different factors influence your case, you want to hire an attorney with appropriate experience in this field.
If the second home is important to one of you, you can expect its full award to one person or the other to be a hot issue in your divorce. If neither one of you wants it, you might have to agree to sell it and split the proceeds as a means of resolution. Another crucial consideration is whether there is a mortgage on the second property, and if so, who is responsible for payment on that mortgage. However, if the judge awards one spouse the property, they can do whatever they choose with it.
Youngblood Law, PLLC: Definitive, Decisive, Dedicated
When you own more than one home in Texas, divorce can become a complicated process. You need a Fort Worth family law attorney with years of experience in handling these complex situations. At Youngblood Law, PLLC, we provided custom work for each client, understanding that divorce and family law is not a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all strategy. For us, success is a way of life. We approach every case with compassion and non-judgment, utilizing our years of experience and knowledge of the law while avoiding unnecessary toxicity. We’ll not only handle your divorce with professionalism and competence, but we’ll also set you up for success moving forward.
To schedule your consultation, give us a call at (817) 601-5345 or complete our online form.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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