Texas is a community property state, which means that the court will try to divide marital property equally in the property division phase of a divorce.
However, there are exceptions under the law. Does your 1957, mint-condition Thunderbird qualify as an exception?
About community property
In a divorce, community property is not necessarily divided equally, but rather, as close to equally as possible. The judge will consider several factors to arrive at a fair distribution of assets and debts:
- The separate property that each party owns
- Your ability to earn sufficient income
- The number of children you have along with their needs
- The taxes you will pay on certain assets
- The effect of divorce on your future finances
Assets usually include income earned by both parties during the marriage along with investment income and property purchased during the marriage. Marital debts include credit card debt, a mortgage and car loans.
With respect to property division, one of the factors a Texas court will consider is economic misconduct. This usually refers to the dissipation of assets. For example, if your soon-to-be ex-spouse wasted your marital funds by gambling or excessive spending, the court might take punitive action. The judge could make a restorative gesture by awarding you a higher percentage of the property to be divided. If you believe your spouse is guilty of economic misconduct, do not hesitate to inform your divorce attorney.
Separate property is usually exempt from property division. This includes inheritances, certain gifts and anything you acquired prior to your marriage. If that vintage T-bird falls into the latter category, you will likely continue to keep it as your separate property.