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Specialty tag(s): Divorce

Is Texas a 50/50 Divorce State?

Ryan R. Bauerle | July 24, 2023

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Texas is a community property state, meaning that all assets acquired during the marriage are equally owned by both spouses (with a few exceptions). If the couple has children, the responsibilities and rewards of parenting are also shared. However, that doesn’t mean that everything will be split exactly 50/50 in the event of a divorce. Whether you’re looking at splitting up property or custody time, it’s seldom as simple as dividing by two.

Is Texas a 50/50 State When it Comes to Property Division?

In a Texas divorce, the courts try to split property and assets equitably, but Texas isn’t a 50/50 divorce state. A Court is charged with making a “just and right” division of the marital estate, taking into account a variety of factors.  It is a common misconception that Texas law requires an equal division, although this happens often.  In some situations, an equitable split of assets is exactly 50/50, but for many people, that is not the case. A 50/50 property division is a good starting point for the courts when they look over all of the community property acquired during the marriage, but then, the court will take into account other factors that could sway the numbers to favor one spouse over another, such as:

  • Length of the Marriage: Longer marriages often involve a greater accumulation of debts and assets, leading to a more complex division.
  • Spousal Needs: The court considers the unique needs of each spouse, such as medical or educational requirements, after the marriage ends.
  • Financial Independence: The earning capacity and self-sufficiency of each spouse play a role in determining the division.
  • Contributions to the Marriage: Financial and non-financial contributions made by each spouse throughout the marriage are taken into account.
  • Conduct of the Spouses: Financial misconduct, infidelity, or abuse may impact the final distribution.
  • Separate Property: Assets acquired by each spouse before the marriage or following the separation may be treated differently.
  • Other Relevant Factors: The court examines any additional factors it deems relevant to achieve a fair outcome.

While all assets accumulated during the course of the marriage may not be split exactly 50/50, the courts do their best to ensure that everything is split as equitably as possible so both spouses are taken care of after the divorce.

Is Texas a 50/50 Child Custody State?

Texas law states that courts cannot make custody decisions based on gender, but that doesn’t mean that parents are automatically going to get 50/50 custody. Texas is not a 50/50 child custody state, meaning that an equal parenting schedule is not by law a presumption or starting point. It’s absolutely possible to get a possession schedule where each spouse has an equal amount of time with their child. Texas courts recognize that 50/50 custody only works in certain circumstances, such as when both parents are able to cooperate on raising the child and live close together. Judges will prioritize the best interest of the child when setting a custody schedule. When determining custody, the court will look at each parent’s ability to be present and engaged in the child’s life. A parent who spent more time at work or with friends than with their child before the divorce may be less likely to get 50% custody, whereas a parent who shares in important decisions, takes parenting classes and works with a family counselor to improve the parent-child relationship may be more likely to get a 50/50 schedule, as long as the parent is able to prove that it’s feasible for both spouses and is in the best interest of the child.

If you need help with your divorce, the accomplished family law attorneys at Goranson Bain Ausley are here to assist you. Contact us today.

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Ryan R. Bauerle is a skilled litigator and strong negotiator; he regularly obtains favorable settlements without ever stepping foot in the courthouse. Ryan works with clients to evaluate the pros and cons of their options, including costs, to make sound and efficient decisions about moving forward. Ryan is Board-certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Family Law. He is a Fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and has also been recognized as a Super Lawyers Rising Star  and named a Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, in multiple years.

At the largest law firm in Texas exclusively practicing family law, Goranson Bain Ausley has some of the top divorce lawyers in Texas, and we want to help you secure the best possible outcome. Contact us today to set up a consultation to learn more about how to choose the right family lawyer for your unique situation.

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