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Divorce and Property Laws in Houston

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  • Divorce and Property Laws in Houston

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A Houston divorce lawyer is very important when it comes to the division of property. Actually this bit is what makes the divorce cases a nails-biting affair. It is even worse when the spouses are relatively wealthy since this means they have a lot more property to be divided. There are three major property definitions that are important in the divorce property law in Houston.

Marital Estate

This is all the property owned by the spouses during the currency and before the currency of their marriage. It includes both separate property and community property. But this is not where the contention is.

Separate Property

This is the property that is owned by a spouse before he/she got married to the current spouse. It also involves items such as gifts, inheritance, awards to personal injuries, and property left to a spouse in a will. A major contention arises under this category since the other spouse will want a piece of this estate. Supposing a couple does not work and they have been relying on the husband’s inheritance. What becomes of a wife who gets divorced by such a guy? This is a question for the Houston divorce lawyer. In another scenario, what happens to a husband whose wife recently came into a large inheritance but the husband did not contribute whatsoever to its accumulation and now the wife wants to divorce him? This is another question to divorce experts.

Community Property

This is all the property and wealth accumulated by spouses during the currency of their marriage, other than separate property. It is another very contentious piece of marital estate. A husband will claim that he has been putting in 40 hours a week to create that wealth while the wife will say that had it not been for her moral support, the husband would be nowhere near where he is.

As difficult as these two types of properties are to differentiate, the court will sit and determine the veracity of any claim based on the evidentiary material produced to support each claim. You certainly do not want to be the Houston divorce lawyer in trying to convince a judge that a husband should share 50 % of his wealth with his ‘sit at home’ wife or a wife to share her inheritance with her abusive husband. That is how nasty it gets.

To further complicate matters, there is money in the bank, retirement benefits among other properties that are hard to place in either of the above categories. Courts always encourage out of court settlement and if this is not possible, then the court will decide for the warring parties.

The court shares the property equitably and/or in a fair manner, considering the rights of the spouses involved, and the right of the children from the marriage. For the community property, the court may decide to share the property equally or disproportionately according to who caused the failure of the marriage. Of course there will be a lot of evidence, accusations and counter-accusations that will help the court decide the best course to take. Courts not only seek to do justice, but must also be seen to do justice. They will therefore not divide the community property equally between a cheating husband and a faithful wife and vice versa. They will reward the honor of family as a unit and punish indiscretion.


Michael Busby Jr. is a Divorce, Family Law, & Houston Divorce Lawyer,  who practices in Harris County Texas and the counties that surround Harris County, Texas. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Harris County Texas Divorce Courts.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks.


Michael Busby Jr.

2909 Hillcroft Suite 350

Houston, Texas 77057

(713) 974-1151

Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com