A trial court in a Texas divorce must divide community property in a just and right manner. Property can be somewhat broadly defined as it relates to property division in a divorce case. Many people do not realize that a lease of someone else’s property is subject to division in a divorce, unless the lease is shown to be separate property.
In a recent case, the wife challenged a property division that did not include a recreational lease held by the husband. The wife appealed the property division, arguing error in the trial court’s division of property. She argued the court failed to include a recreational lease in the community estate and that the court unfairly allocated the husband’s tax debt. The court had allocated all of the tax debt to the husband, but the wife argued the court erred in using it to offset the value of the assets awarded to the husband.
At trial, there was evidence the husband signed a written lease for a ranch during the marriage. The husband’s friend owned the property and testified the husband had helped him build or enhance some of the improvements on the property. The owner testified he would sell the ranch to the husband for a significant discount and indicated he would extend the lease to the husband indefinitely as long as he paid the rent.