When a Texas couple files for divorce, the division of property can be a contentious issue in the midst of an environment that is already emotionally-charged. A lot is lost during the division of marital assets, and the losses are not only emotional, but also legal and financial. It is only natural to want to keep assets such as a car or a house, but who wants to be burdened with an ex-spouse's debts?
The manner in which property is divided depends on the state in which the couple files for divorce. Texas is a community property state in which all assets accumulated by both spouses during the marriage are divided, and those brought into the marriage will remain the property of that person. Exceptions exist for some gifts received during the marriage and also any personal injury judgments received by a spouse during the marriage.
When it comes to a car, it depends whether the car was already owned by one spouse before the marriage. If it was purchased during the marriage, a couple could include it in a property settlement agreement that will state who will keep the car; however, if there is still money owed on it, the person keeping the car may become responsible for that debt. Other debts that may be split during divorce include jointly owned credit cards, mortgages and any debts entered into during the marriage.
Another question that often comes up in divorces is whether one spouse will have any right to a portion of the other spouse's retirement fund. The answer is yes, and that entitlement could be half the benefits. However, depending on state laws, the court may award only half of the amount that pertains to the period that the couple was married. Texas individuals who are considering divorce may benefit from getting answers about the division of marital assets from an experienced divorce attorney.
Source: FindLaw, "Top 5 Marital Property Questions During a Divorce", Christopher Coble, Oct. 1, 2016