Texas is a no-fault divorce state. You do not have to prove fault grounds in Texas in order to get divorced. Our basic no fault ground states that the marriage has become insupportable due to conflict between the parties and that there is no chance of reconciliation. There are also fault grounds, which include adultery, cruel treatment, and abandonment. The benefit of proving a fault ground can be to request more of the community estate to be awarded to one spouse over the other. Our courts divide property based on a just and right division. Although Texas is a community property state (meaning that it is presumed that both parties have equal ownership rights to the property accumulated during the marriage), the court does not have to divide the community estate equally between the parties on a final division of the assets.
The division of assets in a divorce can depend on a multitude of factors, including, but not limited to, which spouse has primary possession of the children, the nature of the property to be divided, tax consequences of the division of certain assets, wasting of assets by one party during the marriage, which spouse has the capability of earning more than the other spouse, and bad acts by one party during the marriage. Property accrued during the marriage is presumed to be community property, but in some circumstances individuals have separate property that is not part of the community estate. If the parties cannot agree, the court will determine whether the property to be divided is characterized as community or separate. The person claiming separate property must prove that the property claimed was acquired prior to the marriage, acquired through inheritance, gift, or bequest, or can be traced to separate property funds. Dividing the property accumulated between the parties during a marriage involves valuation of assets, characterization of assets, and in a complex estate, additional experts are often utilized to assist with valuation and proving the character of certain property.
When there are children in a divorce, the court can approve agreements reached by the parties regarding conservatorship, allocation of rights and duties, possession and access, child support, medical support, and other issues regarding co-parenting and child rearing. If the parents cannot reach an agreement, then the court will make those decisions. It is presumed that the parties will be named joint managing conservators, that one parent will have the exclusive right to determine the primary residence of the child, and that a standard possession order will be awarded to the parties. The primary consideration in making decisions regarding the children is always the best interest of the child.