Dividing assets is more than just splitting your bank accounts down the middle. It is a complex process that often requires assistance from accountants and investigators.
Just because it is complicated does not mean it is unapproachable — although there is no doubt that it can be confusing at first. Here are three things that should put you on the road to understanding this essential divorce concept.
1. Texas is a community property state
The first thing you should know about property division is that, as explained in the Texas State Law Library, this is a community property state. This means that the court divides property and debt in a just and fair manner.
Just and fair do not always mean half-and-half. However, virtually all of the assets that you accrue or maintain together while in a marriage could be subject to division.
2. You do not need to divide everything
There are some things that you do not have to divide. However, it is difficult to apply general rules to a specific situation.
Something that is normally not part of community property could change into a divisible asset depending on how you treat it. A simple example of this might be a house you owned before the marriage, but that your spouse made mortgage payments for.
3. You cannot divide what you cannot find
If you do not handle the finances in your marriage, you might not know exactly what you own. This could put your spouse in an advantageous position. If you suspect that there could be more, you might need to use some advanced investigation techniques to uncover the specifics.
These three tips represent just a tiny part of a complex subject. There is so much to know about asset division, and your knowledge will probably determine how fair of a deal you get.