If I have been married for less than a year and my husband wants to get divorced, what are my rights regarding assets?

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If I have been married for less than a year and my husband wants to get divorced, what are my rights regarding assets?

During the marriage he bought a house for us and added me to his bank accounts. What are my rights on the property and the money we got during the marriage? I also have property that I got before the marriage and a savings account; what are his rights over the things I got before the marriage?

Asked on September 9, 2012 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Texas is a community property state which means that everything aquired during the marriage is considered the property of both spouses, regardless of whose name is on the title.  So you would both share an equal interest in anything that was purchased or accumalated during the marriage-- including the house and any cash in any bank accounts.  If either of you have a banking or savings account prior to the marriage and you can show that those funds were acquired before the marriage, then you can allege those funds as seperate property.  You get to keep any seperate property you aquired prior to the marriage.  The trick with most accounts is when funds become co-mingled (some of his money, some of your money).  When this happens, it is more difficult to prover that the funds were seperate property.

With all of that being said, you have an equal right to everything that ya'll aquired during the marriage.  However, the courts are not required to divide the assets fifty-fifty.  Texas uses a "fair and equitable" standard.  For example, if the house is loaded with debt-- your ex- may be awarded the house and you may be divested of any interest-- but the court could also saddle him with the full amount of the associated debt.  They generally try to balance assets and debts where appropriate.  If  the parties cannot agree on who gets a major piece of property, like a house, the judge can order the property to be sold and the proceeds divided equally. 


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