There’s a presumption in law that assets and debts are to be divided evenly between each party. However, if one parent earns more than the other parent, then he or she may have to pay more than 50 percent in child support or in the division of property. During the pendency of a divorce, an appraisal must be done, even if it is a non-official appraisal. Another factor that plays a part in the division of assets is whether or not one of the parties had an affair and spent community money on that affair. For example, if a husband took his girlfriend to Rome and used community funds for that trip, then he could very well be made to pay the community back for expenses for the concubine.
In Texas, the district court judges in divorce cases have unlimited discretion to divide the property in any way he or she sees fit. In some cases, a spouse will say that their partner committed adultery, gambles, and spent a lot of money on a website, but have no way of knowing how much money they spent; under such circumstances, the court could order that spouse to pay an amount that they think is approximately equal to what they spent.
The courts are very creative in determining how property is going to be divided. For example, one spouse might be able to keep the house but forego taking 50 percent of the 401k. Ultimately, the court’s decision is what stays, which is why many people try to avoid trial.
If a husband failed to pay the IRS as he should have per his returns, yet still requests that his spouse pay half of the taxes, the wife’s attorney could deny such a request and argue that the wife was an innocent spouse due to never having seen the returns and being unaware that her husband failed to pay the taxes each year. This is something that happens quite frequently.
In Texas, temporary spousal support is the same as alimony and is usually awarded in cases where one spouse has not worked for 10 years or more and does not have the skills, education, or experience to earn a significant income. The purpose of alimony is to financially assist such spouses in obtaining what is necessary in order to become gainfully employed. Alimony can be awarded for no more than five years.
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