Texas law entitles wives and husbands alike to a just and right share of marital assets. Marital assets, or “community property,” are generally assets that either spouse acquired during the marriage. Anything classified as community property is subject to division.
It is irrelevant whose name is on the title or whose name the bank account is under. Community property can include assets such as automobiles, the marital home, businesses, and contributions to retirement accounts.
While community property typically consists of anything acquired after the date of the marriage, separate property includes those assets acquired before the marriage. In addition, property that would otherwise be community property is separate property, where the asset in question is
An inheritance left to one spouse but not the other,
Acquired with a spouse’s separate assets,
Gifted to one spouse but not the other,
Excluded from community property via a valid prenuptial agreement, or
Certain types of money damages from a personal injury claim.
Note that while property acquired before the marriage is separate property, income derived from this kind of property can be classified as community property. In addition, if the wife actively contributed to the business’ appreciation, she may be entitled to a share of the asset in a divorce under a reimbursement claim.
When the marriage comes to an end, all assets properly classified as community property are subject to “just and right division” between the spouses. Texas courts have held that a “just and right” division of community assets is not necessarily 50/50. Rather than automatically divide everything in half, Texas courts will consider various factors such as
Length of marriage
Fault of either party
Misappropriation of assets
In Texas, wives are entitled to the same rights, and subject to the same rules, as their husbands. If you are contemplating a divorce or have a question regarding assets and what you are entitled too, give Ashmore & Ashmore Law Firm a call today.