Separate property is generally defined as the property of a spouse which was acquired before marriage, by gift, by inheritance or through a personal injury lawsuit for spouse's bodily injuries.
Community property is all property acquired during marriage which is not separate property including the personal incomes of each spouse.
There are provisions in Texas law to address rights of reimbursement that each estate (separate and community) have between the spouses. Using separate property to pay off debt against a community asset would be one way of creating a right to reimbursement. If you believe that there are issues involved in your case which could give rise to reimbursement you should notify me immediately so that we can address those issues.
Most divorces in Texas are granted on a "no fault" basis. However, if you have been the victim of adultery, cruelty, violence or some other type of marital fault, you may decide to pursue a divorce on a "fault" basis. The reason that a party would sue for a fault based divorce is to seek a disproportionate or greater share of the community property. If you feel that you have a fault based claim in your divorce, please bring it to my attention and discuss it with me so that we can decide how to approach that issue in your case.
While most people believe that community property is divided on a 50/50 basis, there is no such provision in Texas law. The court is commanded by the Family Code to make a division of the property that is fair and equitable under the circumstances. In many cases that works out to be roughly 50/50, in others it does not. In the event of a fault based divorce it may be considerably different than 50/50.
Each case is different. The law requires that every divorce be on file for at least 60 days before a final hearing can be held. However, depending on the amount of property to be divided, custody issues, the anger level of the parties and the ability of the parties to compromise on the small issues and fight over the big issues, a case may take from 60 days to a year. The identity of the other party's lawyer also makes a difference. Some attorneys are obstructionist and want to debate every issue, others want to solve problems and seek resolution for the parties.
You can save yourself money in this case by doing some of the leg work yourself. I bill at $200.00 per hour and my staff is billed at $100.00 per hour. If you provide us with the information we need, such as witness statements, real estate documents, property values and etc..., you will cut down on the hours we will have to bill on these items and thereby save money. Also, if I request records, please organize them with an index and cover sheet so my staff will not have to charge you to organize them for you.