Property Division can be Complex
Property division laws in Texas sound fairly straightforward, but they are not.
When going through a divorce, finalizing any of the terms can be complex. Dividing assets and debt, however, is one of the most frustrating and complicated elements of many divorces. Texas is known as a community property state. This means that when dividing property, a judge will attempt to divide it as equally as possible. Ideally this would mean that each spouse would receive half of the assets and debts. In some cases, a judge may deviate from that formula if he or she can show it is just and right to do so.
Dividing property in half sounds fairly simple. Unfortunately, property division in a Texas divorce is trickier than that. A Pearland divorce attorney can help you establish what is rightfully yours and help you keep it during divorce.
Division of Marital Property in Divorce
The first step to dividing property in a Texas divorce is determining what is separate property and what is community property. Separate property includes any assets owned by a spouse prior to the marriage. It can also include any gifts or inheritances given to one spouse, and only intended for that spouse, during the marriage. Lastly, any compensation received for a personal injury is that of the injured spouse’s alone, with the exception of damages awarded for loss of earning capacity.
Anything not considered separate property in a divorce is considered community property. Essentially this is any asset or debt the couple acquired together during the marriage.
Initially in a divorce, everything is considered community property. If one spouse wishes to have an asset declared as separate property, he or she must bring forward clear and convincing evidence that the property is his or hers alone. In Texas family law, this has a relatively high standard of proof. This is one factor that makes property division in divorce so complex.
Other Factors that Make Property Division Complex
While classifying marital property and separate property is something that is done in every divorce, there are other factors that can sometimes make property division more difficult. These include:
● The existence of a business, and determining the value of that business
● The income, and future income, of an entrepreneur or self-employed spouse
● Employee stock options or profit-sharing plans, and the value of those assets
● Determining the percentage of a pension or investment that has increased in value over the course of a marriage
● The amount of income attributed to an unemployed or underemployed spouse
● Determining assets of similar value so that distribution is just and right
Lastly, transmutation also makes property division extremely complex. This is when one spouse gifts the other spouse separate property during a marriage or uses it for the household. For example, if one spouse had an investment property but used the profits from rent to contribute to the household, those proceeds are considered community property. If the spouse kept the proceeds in a separate bank account and did not use them toward the household, they are considered separate property.
Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Pearland for Help With Your Complex Property Division
No aspect of divorce is easy. When finalizing the terms for property division, however, you need the help of a Pearland divorce attorney. At John Powell III, P.C., we know how to effectively negotiate with the other side to help you keep more of what is rightfully yours. We will help you get the fairest terms in every aspect of your divorce and get it resolved as swiftly as possible. Call us today at (832) 850-6095 or contact us online so we can get started on your case.