5 FAQ's: Property Division in Divorce


Your mind is made up. You're going to get divorced. If you're reading this, it is likely that you've now started to think about what will happen to your property in the divorce. How is property divided in divorce?

Here are 5 Frequently Asked Questions (And Answers) regarding the Division of Property in a Divorce :

Q # 1: "Which Spouse Gets to Keep Family Pets?

A: It depends.

  • The best option is to come to an agreement with your spouse as to which pets will live with which spouse.
  • Sometimes couples have small children that are attached to the pets. If this is the case, you should consider allowing the pet(s) to live with the parent who is the parent designating the children's residence.
  • If you cannot agree on where the pet(s) will live, the court will be forced to make the choice for you. Unfortunately, Texas law won't love your pet(s) like you do; your pets will be treated like property in court and divided as such.

Q # 2: "How Will My Personal Property be Divided in my Divorce? "

A: Any personal property obtained by either spouse during the marriage (regardless of which spouse's name the property is in) is community property. Community property will be equally divided between the spouses (absent other factors). If you and your spouse are still on admirable terms, it would be best to make a detailed inventory of each item of personal property (along with the sentimental and monetary value of each item) and agree on who will get what property. 

If you and your spouse cannot agree on the value of any of the personal property items (i.e. couches, artwork, dishes, etc.), you should hire a professional appraiser. Then, a court will make the division.

Q # 3: "Is My Spouse Entitled to Half of My Retirement? "

A: He/She could be. Any portion of your retirement that was earned during the marriage (prior to the judge signing your Final Divorce Order) will be considered community property; community property will be divided between the spouses.

Q # 4: "Can My Spouse Get Property That is only in My Name in the Divorce?"

A: It is a common misconception that as long as the asset is in your name, your spouse can't get it in a divorce. This could not be any further from the truth. It won't matter that only your name is on your retirement account, for example. If the court determines that your spouse is entitled to a portion, you won't be able to avoid the division (without being in violation of a court order).

Q # 5 : "How are Debts divided in a Divorce?"

A : Debts are divided in the same way that assets are. Debts and Liabilities acquired during the marriage will be equally divided between the spouses.

Note : Typically, the court will attempt to give the debt that is in the spouse's name to that spouse.

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