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What you need to know about divorce in Texas

After more than 20 years of marriage, you have decided that it is time to start over. Since the kids are grown and in college, you do not have to worry about a long and ugly custody battle because of your divorce. However, you are concerned with how the court will divide your marital property. Will the judge give you 50 percent of everything you and your husband own? Will you have enough to support yourself? Are there any special laws you need to know about when it comes to divorcing in Texas?

Divorce is usually complicated. It becomes even more so when there are high-value assets involved. An experienced family law attorney in the Plano area can help navigate what can often seem like a convoluted and traumatic experience. Before starting the process, it may be helpful to have some knowledge of basic divorce laws in Texas.

Legal grounds

As with many other states, Texas allows for no-fault divorces. Many couples divorce based on "irreconcilable differences" or "insupportability." This means that you and your husband's personalities no longer support the marriage and there is no hope for reconciliation. Other grounds for divorce include abuse, infidelity and abandonment among others.

Marital property

In general, all of the property you and your husband acquired during marriage is marital property. Texas treats marital property as community property. This means that the court will divide your marital property equally between the two of you when you divorce. If you have a prenuptial agreement in place or if you can come to a settlement outside of the court, these might preclude any decisions of the court.

Property that you acquired before you were married is typically separate in the eyes of the court. This means that it will not be subject to division according to community property laws. Usually, birthday gifts, heirlooms and inheritances also fall into the separate property category. However, separate property can lose its status if it is too hard to distinguish from marital property. For example, if you received a large personal injury settlement, deposited it into a joint account or used it for joint expenses, your spouse might be entitled to part of it when you divorce.

If you are considering divorce, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect your interests. Understanding divorce laws in Texas will help you make the right decisions for your future.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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