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Division of marital property in Texas

Texas divorce law presumes that property owned by married individuals is property of both husband and wife. Debts, too, if they were incurred while the parties were married, are presumed owed by both husband and wife. Texas is a community property state, but it may be possible in some cases to overcome these presumptions with clear and convincing evidence that the property in question should be categorized as separate.

Property that one or the other spouse brought into the marriage is generally considered separate property, as are assets acquired by inheritance or gift during the marriage. Prior to or during marriage, the spouses may establish separate and community property rights by means of a written agreement.

In dividing community property, Texas courts may consider many different factors, including the relative sizes of the spouses' estates or the fault of one or the other party leading to divorce. The court is not obligated to divide community property equally. Where the couple has children, the judge may award the marital home to the custodial parent or order it sold and the proceeds divided. Alternatively, the court may order that the sale of the residence be delayed until the youngest child is grown.

Generally, the parties to the divorce may agree to divide marital property in almost any way that seems fair to them. If the parties attempt to come to an agreement on their own, it should cover all of the couple's assets, and debts and any property not specifically addressed should be brought to the attention of the court. An attorney with experience in family law may be able to help individuals or couples prepare for property division in divorce. An attorney may be able to assist with the negotiation and drafting of an agreement between the parties or argue on behalf of their client during contested divorce proceedings.

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