How Do We Split Our Property In a Divorce?
Texas is a community property state. What this means is that, with only a few exceptions, any items acquired during the marriage are considered to belong to both spouses equally. So, how do we split the community property in a Texas divorce case?
Make a List and Check It Twice
The best way to get started with separating the assets and liabilities of the marriage is to make a list. This list should include as much detail as possible. There should be an estimated value associated with each item. And if there are any loans or debts, those too should be listed. Below is a sample chart that we ask our Texas family law clients to complete:
|ASSET||Community Property Value||Property to Husband||Property to Wife|
|House at 123 Wood St., Tyler TX||$150,000.00||$150,000.00|
|BANK ACCOUNTS AND RETIREMENT|
|Joint Bank Account at ABC Bank||$1,000.00||$500.00||$500.00|
|Joint Savings Account at ABC Bank||$1,000.00||$1,000.00|
|IRA community Property Portion||$10,000.00||$10,000.00|
|AUTOS, BOATS, ETC.|
|Red Ford Truck||$8,000.00||$8,000.00|
|White Ford F150||$3,000.00||$3,000.00|
|House at 123 Wood St||($135,000.00)||($135,000.00)|
|Red Ford Truck||($2,000.00)||($2,000.00)|
|Percentage Share of Estate||50.84%||49.16%|
This is a sample chart with completely fictional numbers. The great thing about this Chart is that it allows you to note the value of the asset or liability, put it in the column of who gets it, and do the math to see who is getting more or less of the marital estate.
Let’s Make a Deal
In order to make a fair and equitable split of the assets and liabilities, a lot of times deals have to be made. Determining the true value of an item might take some investigation and forensic accounting work. And many times, a couple’s greatest assets (houses and cars) are covered up with debt.
Who takes the debt? Are the assets to be sold? Who gets the proceeds from sale? These are common questions in a Texas divorce and property division. Use the chart above to help.