Explaining Equitable Distribution
One of the purposes of a divorce is to divide the property between the two parties in a manner that is just and right. Texas is a community property state, so nearly anything that you acquired during the marriage will be considered to be shared with your spouse. This can work either for or against spouses depending on who had more of a contribution to the marriage. The court assesses a number of factors when making distribution and the financial income of the two parties is not the only one. A spouse may have made contributions in another manner that did not necessarily have a monetary value.
Separate and Community Property
Community property is often anything that is acquired during the length of the marriage. This can include income, real estate and other assets. Separate property as a generalization will be what an individual gained prior to entering into the marriage. It can also be a gift or inheritance that was gained during the marriage but was specifically to the individual. Sometimes this area can become tricky when the separate property was incorporated into community property in a way that is difficult to retrace.
Addressing property division in a divorce is an extremely important issue, and our legal team has the experience to assist you. With our court experience and depth of knowledge of Texas divorce law, we can offer you legal advice and can serve you in court when property division cannot be resolved without litigation. The final court order regarding property division can have a great impact on your life and finances after the divorce is final. You can have confidence that your interests, rights and objectives will be our focus.
Protecting your Assets
If you do not secure experienced legal help, your divorce could go disastrously. Divorces can turn messy when property distribution does not go according to both partners' plans. How can you protect your assets?
- Know what assets are yours
- Gather all your bank account information
- Record all expensive items that you own
- Secure whatever valuables you have in a safe deposit box
- List anything your spouse might have taken
- Have valuations made on expensive items
- Destroy joint credit cards
- Close out joint bank accounts
- Get a restraining order to prevent your spouse from spending any marital assets
- Know what debt is your partner's
If you are not prepared, your divorce could turn ugly and you could be cheated out of the property that is rightfully yours. Recently, a woman kicked her soon-to-be-ex-husband out of the home that he bought. While he eventually received the house back, the judges awarded the wife $247,370 in compensation.
Things to Consider
There are many things you should keep in mind as you fight for equitable distribution:
- State laws vary
- Everything you acquired is subject to division
- You have to prove what assets are yours
- The court will award you a sum value, if you can prove your spouse did away with some assets
- If any debts were acquired during the marriage, you are partly responsible (debts are split right down the middle)
- Don't let your spouse hide or increase his/her debt
- Keep in mind that the higher wage earner does better in an equitable distribution
- A stay at home spouse would benefit from the community property state
Property division is often one of the most hotly contested subjects in many divorces, and it is wise to do anything you can to avoid letting it cause the process to drag on unnecessarily. When the other party makes unreasonable demands, there can be no choice other than litigation, and our experience in court is a benefit in these situations.