Dividing assets in a divorce can be a contentious, complicated process. Because many people have never been through it before, they often don't know what to expect and may not understand how the process works. Factor in fears about losing property and money and it is not surprising that this is such a difficult step in a Texas divorce.
One way to alleviate some of the anxiety surrounding this process is to have a better understanding of it works. Below, we explain some of the basics of property division in Texas divorces.
Community property laws
In Texas, we recognize community property laws. These laws state that in general, all assets and debts acquired during a marriage belong to the community, or the married couple. Therefore, upon divorce, this property is divided equally between parties.
Not all property is eligible for division, though. Separate property including inheritances, family heirlooms and gifts may not be subject to distribution.
Disputes regarding type, value of property
Often, disputes that arise during property division involve categorization and valuation of a specific asset. For example, one party might argue that separate property became community property through co-mingling of assets while the other maintains that it should remain separate.
Another common dispute arises when parties do not agree on the value of an asset. This can happen in divorces involving sizable, complex assets. This might include ownership of a business, exclusive memberships and art collections.
Resolving issues, negotiating a fair outcome
Resolving matters related to property division can be challenging, but it is not impossible. Depending on the details of your situation, you might work with a financial professional to appraise property, or you might bring the case to court so that a judge can make decisions that are too contentious of complex to resolve outside of court.
Because there is money on the line in these disputes, it can be crucial to have the help of an experienced attorney during the property division process. A family law attorney will have the legal knowledge and experience you may not, and he or she can help you pursue the fair outcome you deserve.