A Sophisticated, Effective Approach to Property Division
For many couples in Texas, property division is the most difficult — and the most acrimonious — aspect of a divorce. Simply put, it is difficult for individuals to give up their assets and belongings. Yet this is exactly what divorce proceedings require. In a contested divorce, the process becomes stressful, expensive and time-consuming.
Even in the most amicable circumstances, division of assets is no easy task. Determining the proper value of an estate can be extremely complex. Distributing possessions equitably can quickly become contentious. An experienced lawyer is key to facilitating the process in a timely, cost-effective manner.
For considerate and prudent legal representation, contact the offices of Terry L. Hart, Attorney at Law. As a former business and financial law attorney, Mr. Hart has an in-depth understanding of the nuances stemming from property division. For the last 10 years, he has dedicated his practice to family law, guiding clients and their families in the Houston area through all the legal and financial components of divorce.
Understanding the Financial Complexities of Divorce
Texas law dictates that assets acquired during marriage — termed community property — must be divided upon divorce. Separate property, defined as assets an individual owned prior to marrying or received by gift or inheritance, remain the property of the original holder. However, there are strict rules regarding the proof of the character of property. Property is presumed to be community unless it is proven to be separate by clear and convincing evidence.
Mr. Hart offers experienced counsel in all manner of disagreements stemming from property and asset division, including:
- Proceeds gained from inheritance or injury— Even if acquired during marriage, the assets an individual inherits or recovers from personal injury matters are typically classified as separate property. The proper characterization of assets is critical in a divorce.
- Division of mineral rights — Many residents of Texas lease the land they own to oil and gas companies, own gas or oil royalty rights, or possess investments in oil wells that generate income. These mineral rights and royalties often need to be divided during divorce proceedings. Their proper identification and valuation may be difficult. Mr. Hart provides support in such matters.
- Distribution of 401(k)s, Roth IRAs and other retirement accounts — When planning for the future, it is common to rely on a retirement fund. Yet a divorce might affect an individual’s access to the wealth that account has accrued. It is important for individuals to understand their rights in relation to retirement accounts, including the right to receive funds from tax-exempt plans without paying a penalty using a qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO.
- Community businesses — Correctly assessing the worth of a business that was established or developed during a marriage sometimes presents difficulties. There are sometimes intangibles to consider, such as the goodwill associated with a party’s involvement in the business. Drawing on his experience as a business attorney, Mr. Hart offers pragmatic representation in such matters.
These situations are often personal. They can be contentious. Mr. Hart provides objective, experienced counsel. In appropriate cases, he will engage outside parties to appraise assets properly. He generally engages in reasonable discovery to ensure that neither party fails to disclose property in the divorce proceedings. He is as thorough as reasonably possible. He is ready to assist.
Contact an Attorney Focused on Finding Solutions
A divorce settlement can be difficult to negotiate even when the parties get along. Terry L. Hart, Attorney at Law, stands prepared to help his clients through the proceedings. To schedule a consultation, call his offices at 713-581-1773 or 877-576-7390, or reach him online.