Decision Time: 3 Ways A Court Divides Community Property
Seldom can we make a decision in our personal lives – a good decision, anyway – without first having all the facts in front of us. Well the court system clearly works the same way, and now that the court hearing your divorce case has been presented with all the necessary evidence on the factors it can consider in making a just and right division of your community estate, it’s finally time to determine which property will be awarded to each spouse.
There are three common methods the court relies on to divide community property, and they are:
Partition the property in kind
The term “in kind” essentially means that the property is divided, fairly and justly, between the spouses. Per the Texas Family Code, this process does not require cutting each item of property in half but rather involves the trial court awarding individual items of property to each spouse. Depending on the property in question, the court can award property outright to one spouse, divide the property into separate shares, or award joint ownership.
Award money judgement
Rather than deal with dividing the specific property between the spouses, a court can order that one spouse be awarded a money judgement from the other spouse. There are three circumstances where this is appropriate:
- When the community estate cannot be equitably divided by partitioning the assets in kind.
- To satisfy a claim for reimbursement.
- To satisfy a claim for fraud on the community.
Partition property by sale
The court can legally order community property – in this case, real property – be sold so that the proceeds can then be divided between spouses. Usually this happens when it is not possible to do an in-kind partition, typically on the grounds that the partition in kind is impractical or unfair.
Was this blog helpful? We’ve been discussing the details behind the just and right division of community property in our last few blogs. If you missed them, please click on the links below to get caught up.
Please don’t hesitate to check our blog archive for any other topics that might interest you. And if you would like us to discuss a particular family law topic in these blogs, please contact our Nelson Law Group, PC office to let us know. We will be glad to help you.