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Texas Divorce Issues: Division of Property and Debts
Texas is a “Community Property” state. This means that the property you have accumulated together during your marriage is presumed to be the property of both the husband and the wife. Similarly, all debts incurred during marriage are presumably debts shared by both the husband and the wife. Both community property and community debt must be divided in the Final Decree of Divorce, the final order that grants your divorce and sets out the terms.
Although the property and debts are presumed to be equally shared, this presumption can be overcome by showing the court by clear and convincing evidence that the property is separate. This must be done by documentation. Testimony alone is not sufficient to prove that the property is separate property.
Property acquired by the husband or the wife before marriage is considered separate property. Additionally, inheritances and gifts given to a spouse during marriage are generally considered separate property.
There are many factors that go into a judge’s decision regarding how to divide community property and debts, including the earning income potential of each spouse, and whether or not there are children of the marriage. Essentially, the court will divide property and debts in a manner that it deems “just and right,” taking into account the circumstances in the marriage.