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Rocket Lawyer Family law

Ask a Lawyer: Community Property and Divorce

Each and every Wednesday, guest attorneys stop by our Facebook page and answer our users’ legal questions. We’ve touched on topics from book copyrights and patents to gun rights and custody. This week, among others, we fielded a gentleman’s question about community property and its distribution after divorce.

Keep in mind, if you have a legal question of your own, our guest attorneys answer these on Wednesday, from 10:30 to noon (Pacific) every week. And if you can’t make it, submit early. We’ll do our best to get you the answers you need.

Thanks for stopping by.

How is community property split between couples during a divorce?

Good question.  Let’s start by going over what community property means. In the states that have community property laws, it means that in general, any property that was acquired by the couple or either spouse during the marriage is owned by both spouses jointly.  The idea is to recognize the contribution of both spouses during the marriage, hence the shared ownership.

When the marriage ends in divorce, community property is divided based on the state’s laws.  Dividing it could mean splitting up what you own item by item, by splitting individual items, or by value.

It looks like you’re located in Texas, which you’ve correctly identified as a community property state.  But unlike California, for example, where community property is divided 50/50 in a divorce; in Texas, it’s common for community property to be distributed unequally.  According to Texas Family Code 7.001, “the court shall order a division of the estate of the parties in a manner that the court deems just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage.” That means the shares can be awarded unequally by the courts, based on the details of the case.

You’ll probably want to speak to a divorce attorney to get more help with your case.  We can help you connect with one here:

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