Standard formulas that are generally used in Texas by a married couple to divide their assets at death tend to fall away when one or both spouses have a prior marriage and separate children from that relationship. Usually, where a couple has three children, for example, they will leave their estates mutually to each other and then to their children in three equal shares. However, where one or both of them also have children from a prior marriage, each person's last will and testament tends to depart from the standard formula in order to recognize all of their children for sharing.
In the latter case, the tendency is for a spouse to leave less than all of his or her assets to the other, while leaving a reasonable portion to the children of the prior marriage. In that way, the prior children may be included along with the children of the current marriage for sharing in the assets. However, that pattern may not be efficient where the couple have only a modest amount of total assets that are all jointly owned.