If you have decided that a divorce is in your future, one of the questions you have undoubtedly considered is how to divide the property between you and your spouse. The first thing to note when discussing property division in a Texas divorce is that you do not have to come to an agreement with your spouse; however, doing so is often in your best interest. If you and your spouse cannot agree on how to divide up your collective assets, the court will do so.
You may be better served by negotiating with your spouse about the division of assets. That way, you have a say in how the assets are distributed. Otherwise, a judge unfamiliar with you, your spouse, and your situation will make the decision.
If you and your spouse decide to divide up your assets on your own, you can come up with any arrangement that both parties agree to. Of course, the court will have the final say, and, in theory, the court could reject an agreement if it believed that it was the product of coercion or fraud. However, most of the time, the court will honor a couple’s wishes regarding the distribution of marital assets.
If, however, you and your spouse cannot agree on how your assets should be split up, the court will consider the following factors:
• Each spouse’s needs
• The needs of the couple’s children
• The age and health of the spouses
• Each spouse’s level of education
• Which spouse will be raising the couple’s children
• The employability of each spouse
If a court awards one spouse property burdened by debt, such as a home with a mortgage, the court will typically assign that debt to the receiving spouse. Additionally, while a court can consider a spouse’s fault in contributing to the breakdown of the marriage, it is not required to do so.