Divorce can be a complex process, especially when it comes to dividing marital property. In Texas, which is a community property state, all assets and debts acquired during the marriage are generally divided equally between spouses. However, there are situations where a court may award one spouse a disproportionate share of the marital estate.

This article explores what a disproportionate share claim is, the factors a Texas court considers when awarding a disproportionate share, and how a family law attorney can help you navigate this process.

What is a Disproportionate Share Claim in a Texas Divorce?

A disproportionate share claim argues that, under specific circumstances, one spouse deserves a larger portion of the marital estate during a divorce. While Texas law prioritizes a “just and right” division, this doesn’t always translate to a 50/50 split. There are various factors a judge can consider to justify awarding a spouse a disproportionate share of the marital property.

Factors Considered for a Disproportionate Share Award

Several factors can influence a judge’s decision regarding a disproportionate share claim. Here are some key considerations:

  • Fault-Based Divorce: While Texas is a no-fault divorce state, evidence of marital misconduct (e.g., adultery, cruelty) can impact the property division. A spouse’s wasteful spending or dissipation of marital assets during the marriage may also be considered.
  • Disparity in Income or Earning Capacity: If there’s a significant difference in income or future earning potential between spouses, the court might award a larger share to the lower-earning spouse to ensure financial stability after the divorce.
  • Separate Property: Assets acquired before marriage, through inheritance, or by gift generally remain separate property. However, if separate property has been commingled with community property (e.g., used to improve a marital home), it can affect the overall division.
  • Contributions to the Marital Estate: The court may consider each spouse’s contributions to the marital estate beyond just financial income. This could include contributions such as homemaking, childcare, or managing a family business.
  • Needs of the Spouse and Children: The court will consider the specific needs of each spouse and any children involved. For example, a spouse with a disability or a child with special needs may require a larger share of the marital estate to meet their ongoing expenses.
  • Business Valuation: If the marital estate includes a business, accurately valuing it is crucial. A spouse who significantly contributed to building the business may be entitled to a larger portion of its value.

It’s important to note that the burden of proof lies with the spouse seeking the disproportionate share. You will need to present evidence to support your claim, such as financial records, expert testimony for business valuation, and documentation of any fault-based grounds for divorce.

How a Texas Family Law Attorney Can Help

Navigating a disproportionate share claim can be complex. An experienced Texas family law attorney like Gregg Lundberg can guide you through the process by:

  • Evaluating your case: They will assess your specific situation and determine if you have a strong case for a disproportionate share claim.
  • Gathering evidence: Your attorney will help gather financial records, witness testimonies, and any other documentation to support your claim.
  • Negotiating with your spouse’s attorney: They can negotiate a fair settlement that reflects your needs and contributions to the marital estate.
  • Representing you in court: If negotiations fail, your lawyer will represent you effectively in court and present your case persuasively to the judge.

Contact Lundberg Law For Assistance

If you are considering a disproportionate share claim in your Texas divorce, don’t hesitate to contact Lundberg Law today for a free consultation. We understand the emotional and financial challenges associated with divorce, and we are dedicated to protecting your rights and securing a fair outcome.

Remember, every case is unique, and this article provides a general overview. Consulting with a qualified family law attorney is crucial to ensure you receive the best possible representation in your Texas divorce.

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