Many in Texas surprised by property division in community state

On behalf of Loughmiller Higgins, Attorneys at Law posted in Divorce on Thursday, September 20, 2012.

One of the things that many people are surprised about is how property division differs in Texas compared to most states. After all, Texas is one of states in the minority that splits assets that the couple has earned evenly among the couple. Sometimes such property division can have many scratching their heads, since the money that was clearly earned by only one spouse during the course of the marriage is shared equally between both spouses in a divorce.

This can be seen in the recent divorce case between George Lopez and his ex-wife, Ann Serrano. Serrano filed for divorce due to the catch-all reason of irreconcilable differences. While splitting their assets, the couple agreed to split Lopez’s retirement fund that he collected while they were married equally. While the sum of this division is not known, it is speculated that Serrano will come off of the divorce with a certain amount of wealth.

This split may initially seem questionable since Serrano didn’t earn the money explicitly. However, community property law follows the logic that, though she did not earn it directly, she supported Lopez in such ways that she helped earn the money for the extent of the marriage. After all, a marriage is essentially a partnership of two people in which everything should ideally be shared between both.

For many in Texas, one of the hardest parts about property division is splitting the property evenly. Community property principles are based off of what is ideal rather than what is realistic. It is very possible that one of the divorcing spouses may hold a claim to certain properties which might make such a split unequal. However, with open communication, divorcing couples can work through these issues and come up with a fair settlement for all.

Source: Fox News Latino, “George Lopez & Ex-Wife Settle on Division of Assets,” Sept. 10, 2012

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