Texas is a community property state which means that all assets and debts acquired during the marriage are presumed to be community property and thus divisible by the Court. There is no legal separation in Texas. This means that even after a person files for divorce in Texas, the assets and debts acquired after filing for divorce are community property and divisible by the Court at the time of a final trial.

Dallas, Texas has what is called a Standing Order. The Standing Order is in effect on all parties who file for divorce in Dallas, Texas. The Standing Order contains injunctions that remain in place on each spouse during the pendency of the divorce action. These injunctions regulate how you are to spend money during the pendency of the divorce. Specifically, the Dallas Standing Order enjoins a person from spending funds unless it is for reasonable and necessary expenses and attorney’s fees. The Standing Order becomes effective on the person filing for divorce once the divorce petition is filed with the Court and effective on the other spouse once that person is served with the divorce petition. The purpose of the Standing Order is to maintain the financial status quo during the pendency of the divorce.

Just because you have filed for divorce and/or are in the middle of the divorce process, your income is still community property. This means that your spouse’s income during the divorce is also community property. Any contributions to a spouse’s retirement accounts during the divorce process are community property. Any debts incurred during the divorce process are community property as well. However, the Standing Order is in place to minimize any debts incurred during the divorce process in order to protect the community estate.

 

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Photo of Michelle O'Neil Michelle O'Neil

Michelle May O’Neil has 30+ years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes…

Michelle May O’Neil has 30+ years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes genuine compassion for her client’s difficulties, yet she can be relentless when in pursuit of a client’s goals. One judge said of Ms. O’Neil, “She cannot be out-gunned, out-briefed, or out-lawyered!”

Family Law Specialist

Ms. O’Neil became a board-certified family law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1997 and has maintained her certification since that time. While representing clients in litigation before the trial court is an important part of her practice, Ms. O’Neil also handles appellate matters in the trial court, courts of appeals and Texas Supreme Court. Lawyers frequently consult with Ms. O’Neil on their litigation cases about specialized legal issues requiring particularized attention both at the trial court and appellate levels. This gives her a unique perspective and depth of perception that benefits both her litigation and appellate clients.

Top Lawyers in Texas and America

Ms. O’Neil has been named to the list of Texas SuperLawyers for many years, a peer-voted honor given to only about 5% of the lawyers in the state of Texas. Ms. O’Neil received the special honor of being named by Texas SuperLawyers as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas, Top 100 Lawyers in Texas, and Top 100 Lawyers in DFW for multiple years. She was named one of the Best Lawyers in America and received an “A-V” peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directories for the highest quality legal ability and ethical standards.

Author and Speaker

A noted author, Ms. O’Neil released her second book Basics of Texas Divorce Law in November 2010, with a second edition released in 2013, and a third edition expected in 2015.  Her first book, All About Texas Law and Kids, was published in September 2009 by Texas Lawyer Press. In 2012, Ms. O’Neil co-authored the booklets What You Need To Know About Common Law Marriage In Texas and Social Study Evaluations.  The State Bar of Texas and other providers of continuing education for attorneys frequently enlist Ms. O’Neil to provide instruction to attorneys on topics of her expertise in the family law arena.