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Property division in Texas: Assets and debts count

Property division is one topic in a divorce that can lead to problems. Each party probably has very specific desires that might not line up with what the other party wants. Because Texas is a community property state, marital property is classified as either separate property or community property. The items considered community property are divided equally between the spouses. What our readers might not realize is that debts are also classified as community property or separate property.

One big area of contention during property division might be the marital home. If the home was purchased with separate funds, the house will usually be awarded to the spouse who had those funds. In cases that don't fall under that category, a variety of factors determines who keeps the home. A parent who has custody of the children, for example, might be awarded the home if that is where the children have been living. The marital home does count toward the spouse's share of the property who gets to keep the home.

It is important that our readers understand how community property and debts are split during a divorce. The property, for example, isn't split physically in half like what happened in "The War of the Roses." Instead, the value of the property is added up and each spouse gets property worth the same as the other spouse. The same goes for community debt.

As you probably realize, property division is very complicated. Determining worth of assets and figuring out how to divide those assets can be difficult. Whether you and your spouse work together to come up with an agreement or need the court to order one, you must ensure your rights are protected every step of the way.

Source: FindLaw, "Divorce Property Division FAQ" Nov. 18, 2014

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