When you and your spouse divorce, you will have to divide your property and debts. You may be able to arrive at a decision on your own. The extent of your property determines the complexity of the division. Significant assets and a closely held family business are instances when you will need the assistance of a competent family law attorney.
Texas Family Code specifies that a couple’s martial assets must be divided fairly and equitably. However, it is important to understand that equitable distribution does not necessarily mean an equal 50/50 division.
Community Property vs. Separate Property
Texas is a community property state, and as such, the Texas Family Code specifies that a couple’s martial assets must be divided fairly and equitably. However, it is important to understand that equitable distribution does not necessarily mean an equal 50/50 division.
Property acquired before the marriage, by gift or inheritance, is considered separate property as long as it was kept separate from community property. The spouse will have no interest in any separate property assets. If separate property assets were comingled with community or marital assets, then the party who wants the property will need to prove how the asset value changed during the marriage.
How does the court differentiate between community property and separate property?
The court starts with a presumption that all property acquired during the marriage is shared or community property. If any part of the property is your separate property, then you may rebut the presumption by showing specific evidence that the property is separate. For example, if you and your spouse own a car at the time of divorce, the court presumes that it is community property. However, if you have a title, showing the date of the purchase of the vehicle prior to the date of your marriage, you have proof that the car is your separate property.
For more information on how your Texas lawyer will help you, click here to view a PDF version of the Texas Lawyer’s Creed.
Examples of Marital Assets
Assets acquired during your marriage may include:
- Your home and other real estate
- Personal property, such as cars, motorcycles, boats, artwork and collections
- IRAs, 401(k), pension and other retirement plans
- Business enterprises
- Stocks, stock options, mutual funds, oil and gas assets and other investments
Legal Help for Property Distribution
The Law office of Kathy Black, located in Conroe, Texas, offers legal services in all aspects of family law, including the distribution of property and debt.
As part of the divorce process, our law firm provides legal advice and guidance to protect your rights and best interests. Attorney Kathy Black works closely with accountants and appraisers, when necessary to help you weigh the effects of tax consequences that come into play when selling or exchanging real estate, businesses, oil and gas assets, collections and investments. In order to arrive an equitable distribution, we work with you to:
- Compile an inventory of assets and debts
- Determine net income
- Prepare balance sheet of marital and separate assets
- Consult with appraisers to arrive at accurate valuation of businesses, jewelry, artwork and collections
- Analyze lifestyle and arrive at cost of maintenance and budget
Once a full and fair assessment of your assets is completed, a settlement agreement for distribution of assets and debts is prepared. In the event of disagreements, attorney Kathy Black is prepared to negotiate with the other spouse to help you reach a cost-effective solution while protecting your financial interests.
When you need a Texas family law attorney to help resolve complicated property and debt distribution and divorce issues, we invite you to call our Conroe law firm at (936) 537-2471. Arrange a private consultation to discuss how a client attorney/relationship with our firm can help protect your best interests and meet your objectives.
Texas family law attorney, Kathy Black, serves clients in Conroe, The Woodlands, Magnolia and surrounding towns in Montgomery County