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Texas divorces and mineral rights issues

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2020 | Divorce

Many people in and around San Antonio have a lot of their net worth invested in real estate.

Land is a good investment for a number of reasons. In Texas, a person will have to pay particular attention to the value of mineral rights, that is, the right to drill underneath the surface of land and extract valuable resources, including oil and gas.

Like other property, real estate, including open land as well as land with homes and buildings on them, will likely be considered community property if the land was acquired during the marriage.

In a divorce, a Texas court will divide community property in a just manner. While this does not guarantee an equal share to each spouse, each spouse has a right to his or her fair share of the value of the mineral rights to drill for oil and gas.

The value of mineral rights can vary depending on a number of conditions, and these conditions can change unexpectedly, causing a fluctuation in price.

For example, the value of one’s mineral rights will in some respect depend on the market price of oil, assuming of course a person’s land has oil reserves underneath it.

Beyond that though, geographic location and whether or not the location is already producing oil, and how much of it, will affect the value of one’s mineral rights.

Generally speaking, land that is producing oil will command a higher value than land with potential untapped reserves. On a related point, the more drillable land an owner has available to lease, the valuable the mineral rights will be per acre.

Because the valuing of mineral rights is a complicated process, a person is best served by speaking to an experienced family law attorney and connected with someone who has expertise in valuing mineral rights.