Divorcing a high-earning spouse: Could I lose everything?

On Behalf of | Nov 14, 2022 | Property Division

Ending any marriage can be tumultuous; ending one when you are financially supported by the other person can be incredibly stressful. Before panicking or making any demands or concessions, you should know some important details about Texas property division laws and practices.

You will not lose everything

Despite any threats that your soon-to-be-ex might make or what you may have heard on TV or in movies, you are not going to exit your marriage with nothing. 

Even if you stayed at home with the kids or left a job so your ex could pursue their professional goals, the community property laws in Texas state that, in general, both spouses equally own any property either party acquires during the marriage. Often, this means that parties each receive 50 percent of the assets and liabilities.

Regardless of whose name is on a deed, loan investment or retirement account, these properties and accounts can be community property if either of you acquired them during your marriage.

Exceptions to consider

There are situations in which parties might not have rights to property. The courts can make exceptions or adjustments to property division orders based on factors like:

  • Proof property is separate rather than community property 
  • Evidence of domestic abuse in the marriage
  • Child custody arrangements
  • Co-mingling assets
  • The presence of a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement

Under circumstances that involve one or more of these factors, dividing property 50/50 may not be just or equitable.

Getting the fair outcome you deserve

Dividing assets is a complicated process when significant money or property is at stake. Matters like categorizing and valuing property can require the input of legal and financial professionals, and there could be the risk of someone attempting to hide or undervalue assets.

Having said that, none of these factors should stop you from getting the equitable, just outcome you deserve. Whether you resolve property division issues yourself in mediation or through litigation in court, you have rights worth knowing and protecting in a Texas divorce.