There are lots of difficult decisions that must be made when a couple decides to end their marriage. After child custody matters, perhaps the most important is deciding how to divide property amongst the divorcing couple. However, the couple’s choice is not the only deciding factor-where a couple decides to divorce is also important. Some states follow the equitable distribution rules whereas some follow the community property principle in a divorce.
A minority of states follow the community property state principle and Texas is one of those states. This means the judge divides the couple’s joint assets in half. This means the judge is concerned primarily with dividing the property equally, not fairly. Judges do not take into account either party’s health, age or employment prospects. Even though the process is quick and clean, it does not always end up with both party’s satisfaction. However, community property states generally have extremely generous alimony and spousal support payments, especially if one of the parents stayed home to take care of the children.
One way to avoid ending up with a settlement that benefits neither party is for the divorcing couple to come to a settlement amongst themselves. A post marital agreement created with the consent of both the parties can ensure that both parties get what they want out of the ending of their marriage, difficult as it is. Couples who decide to go the private way are not bound by the rules of the state.
The end of a union is not easy and often emotions are running high during the turbulent time, but if couples try to put their differences aside and come to a mutually beneficial agreement about property division it may be in their best interests. An experienced divorce attorney may be able to assist them in the matter.
Source: Huffington Post, “Why where you divorce matters: equitable distribution vs. community property,” David Centeno, accessed on Dec. 22, 2014