law-divorce-division-of-property | marital property division case law | community vs. separate property
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Houston divorce marital property division case law | reimbursement claim against community or separate
DIVISION OF PROPERTY IN DIVORCE
In a divorce decree, the trial court “shall order a division of the estate of the parties in a manner that
the court deems just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the
marriage.” Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 7.001 (West 2006). The trial court divides community property;
it cannot divide separate property. See Knight v. Knight, 301 S.W.3d 723, 728 & n.5 (Tex. App.—
Houston [14th Dist.] 2009, no pet.); Sharma v. Routh, 302 S.W.3d 355, 360 (Tex. App.—Houston
[14th Dist.] 2009, no pet.).
We review a trial court's division of community property for an abuse of discretion. Murff v. Murff, 615 S.W.
2d 696, 698 (Tex. 1981). The test for an abuse of discretion is whether the trial court acted arbitrarily or
unreasonably, or whether it acted without reference to any guiding rules or principles. Swaab v. Swaab,
282 S.W.3d 519, 524 (Tex. App.-Houston [14 Dist.] 2008, pet. dism'd w.o.j.). A trial court's division need
not be equal and may take into consideration many factors, such as the spouses' capacities and abilities,
benefits which the party not at fault would have derived from a continuation of the marriage, business
opportunities, education, relative physical conditions, relative financial conditions and obligations, disparity
in age, size of separate estates, the nature of the property, and disparity in income and earning capacity.
See Murff, 615 S.W.2d at 699; Markowitz v. Markowitz, 118 S.W.3d 82, 90-91 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th
Dist.] 2003, pet. denied).
Knight v. Knight (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] Oct. 29, 2009)(Hedges)
(divorce property division, reimbursement claim, preservation of error for appellate review)
AFFIRMED IN PART; REVERSED & REMANDED IN PART: Opinion by Chief Justice Hedges
Before Chief Justice Hedges, Justices Brock Yates and Frost
14-08-00424-CV Monica Faye Knight v. Bobby Wayne Knight
Appeal from 246th District Court of Harris County
Trial Court Judge: Jim York
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