Texas is a community property state. In very limited circumstances, the Court can award alimony.
50-50 Property Division Presumption and Community Property Presumption
Upon divorce, the Court begins with a 50-50 property division presumption as well as a community property presumption. Either party has the right to put in evidence that he or she should be given more than 50% of the estate and that he or she has separate property. Separate property is not subject to Court division. You keep that.
The Court is then charged with the responsibility for making a “just and right” division of the marital estate having “due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage.” In other words, the Court has very broad power.
Factors Court Considers in Giving More Than 50% to One Party
There is a laundry list of factors the Court can consider when deciding whether to give a disproportionate share of the community estate, (more than 50%) to one party. Factors recognized in Texas include:
1) fault in the break up of the marriage;
2) the relative health of each of the spouses;
3) the relative educational background of each of the spouses;
4) the benefit each of the spouses would have derived from a continuation of the marriage;
5) any reimbursement claims one spouse may have;
6) any tort claims one spouse may have;
7) of course, any pre- or post nuptial agreements;
8) any money owed to the other spouse during the pendency of the divorce;
9) any fraud or other wrongdoing by a spouse that resulted in financial loss by the other spouse;
10) fiduciary duties owing between spouses;
11) the types of property owned by the estate and whether they produce income.
This is not an exhaustive list. This is just to give you an idea of the complexity of arguments that can be made when fighting over property in a divorce.
Temporary Alimony and Permanent Alimony
Temporary alimony is available in Texas upon a showing of a financial need and inability to meet minimum reasonable needs monthly. It is completely discretionary for the Judge. Permanent alimony laws have become so complex that there is no simple explanation I can write here. We must take these on a case by case basis. Please come in for a consultation if you would like a legal opinion about whether you qualify for permanent alimony in Texas.
Contact Dallas Divorce Attorney Rita Boyd
Whatever the particular aspects of your divorce case are, it is my hope that you will call me. Call me right now at 972-380-8000, and make an appointment to come in and discuss your challenges. Together we can! You can also email me.