The court has the power to distribute community property based on what it thinks is fair. However, there must be a reasonable basis for unequal distribution. There are many factors that the court considers when deciding that the distribution of property should not be equal. This includes things such as ages, education, earning capacities, skills, business opportunities and the health of spouses. The court will look at whether a given spouse is the primary care giver if the couple had children together and the amount of property that each spouse owns separately. The court will also consider whether one party did something that caused the marriage to fail.
The spouses will have their chance to decide by themselves how the community property will be shared. For example, if they decide to sell their hose and divide the proceeds, allow the husband to keep all his retirement benefits or allow the wife to keep the cars, they can submit their settlement agreement to the court. The court usually accepts the agreement without any involvement. If the spouses cannot come to an agreement, the court will decide how their property will be divided among them.
Alimony or spousal maintenance during and after divorce is payment from one spouse to another to help the recipient meet reasonable needs after the divorce. The determination of separation maintenance is separate from the division of community property. The court in Texas is always reluctant to award maintenance payments unless a spouse has been accused and convicted of violence against the children or the other spouse. Otherwise, the other spouse seeking payment should not be able to work because of disability or because he/she is a custodian of a child who is disabled. A spouse may also receive maintenance award if the marriage lasted for more than 10 years.
The spouse seeking support must prove to the court that he/she does not have the ability to become self-supporting or to secure income. This because the existence of one or more of the factors discussed above does not guarantee that one is going to receive maintenance support from the other spouse. Also, the court will not ignore bad behavior by either spouse e.g. adultery, wastage of community property etc