How Do Courts Divide Property During a Divorce?

Divorce Lawyer In Frisco, TX

Splitting up a marriage can seem like a daunting and exhausting process. The entire idea of divorce may elicit horror stories from family and friends who have been through it. While you cannot let these tales dictate your decisions, there are difficult decisions to make while going through the process. It helps to understand how the court in your state handles many of the significant issues in divorce. All states have their own divorce laws on the books, including how to manage dividing property. Some states subscribe to an equal split, while others may prefer equitable distribution. Knowing the difference between them may help you be prepared for what you have to face down the road.

The Great Divide

Divorce laws in some states subscribe to an equal split of all property and assets acquired during the marriage. These are all placed in the category of marital property. If you and your spouse cannot agree on who gets what, it may be left to the judge to decide. Many jurisdictions which operate this way suggest or order the spouses to sell off all property, the money put into a pot and then equally split between the two. The advantage of this is there is no longer any more worry about who gets what if and when the house or property sells. However, the drawback is you no longer have control over that property, and in the case of wanting to keep the marital residence, it will not be an option. Therefore, negotiating a compromise before getting an order from a judge is highly recommended.

Equitable Distribution

Some states believe that dividing property and assets fairly does not mean it gets split into equal shares. In situations where one spouse makes the lion’s share of the income, it benefits the other spouse to have property distributed in this manner. It is seen as an equalization between the two, giving more cash to a spouse who has not earned as much but has contributed to the marriage equally if not more. Instances where this benefits couples include:

  • One spouse stayed home to raise children
  • One spouse has more non-marital property or assets
  • One spouse has the means to financially recovery quicker

When looking at distributing everything, the above factors come into play. The most significant is the spouse who stayed home to take care of the children. Their contribution to the marriage will be given equal weight or in some cases, more depending on how much this role helped the other spouse increase their earning potential.

For more questions about how your state divides property, consult with a divorce lawyer in Frisco, TX. Their knowledge will help you prepare for what’s to come.

Contact??Scroggins Law Group, PLLC for their insight into family law and how property is divided during divorce.


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*Mark L. Scroggins is *board-certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Unless otherwise noted, other attorneys are not *board-certified.

**Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters service, awarded to Mark Scroggins 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021)

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