Cypress Property Division in Divorce Lawyer
Our team of Cypress divorce lawyers at Skillen Firm has the skills resources and experience necessary to handle even the most complex divorce cases. Property division can be extremely difficult for couples to navigate during the divorce process. Texas is a community property state, which means that any property that either spouse acquired during the course of a marriage is usually presumed to be shared community property unless you can show otherwise.
A family law attorney in Cypress, TX can help you navigate your divorce and come to agreements using mediation and negotiation. This will not only move the process along quicker, but it can also save the time and stress of long court battles. Skillern Firm has been providing professional legal assistance to families in Texas for over 50 years collectively. Our highly personalized approach to the attorney-client relationship and our dedication to family law matters, help spouses to move onto the next stage of their lives with confidence.
Speak to a Cypress, TX divorce attorney today and arrange an initial consultation, at (936) 213-8479.
Community Property Vs. Separate Property in Texas Family Law
Cypress, TX is governed by Texas family law. Texas is a community property state, which means that any property acquired prior to marriage, property protected by prenuptial agreements, gifted or inherited property, or any assets from a personal injury settlement, remain separate after divorce. Any property acquired by either spouse during the course of a marriage is usually presumed to be community property that belongs equally to both spouses. Community property could therefore be subject to a 50/50 split upon divorce.. That includes real estate, bank accounts, vehicles, self-owned businesses, and all other assets.
However, Texas is different from most other community property states. Although community property is presumed to be shared, it can also be split in an equitable manner, which does not always equate to 50/50. If one spouse believes that they deserve a higher percentage of community property than the other, then as long as they can show that it is fair, the Judge can award it. For example, if one spouse earns considerably more, has a good job, and is in good health, while the other spouse gave up opportunities to care for children, and does not have the opportunity to earn as much as their ex-spouse, then the Judge may award them a higher percentage of community property. In order to determine and evidence which assets are community property, and which are separate, a Cypress, TX divorce lawyer will prove invaluable. When couples try to navigate these issues on their own it can lead to a lot of hostility, and back-and-forth with a Judge which ultimately costs the couple time and money.
At Skillern Firm, we will help you come to an amicable divorce agreement that the court is likely to approve. Where this is not possible we also have the skills and experience necessary to represent our clients in court proceedings and fight for their best interests. A skilled divorce lawyer, with experience in community property state law and property division, will guide you through the process and ensure that you secure a fair outcome that will enable you to move forward in your life with confidence and financial security.
Factors That Impact Marital Property Division
It is rare for spouses to agree on the division of marital property. While the high-earning spouse may feel that they have contributed more and therefore deserve a higher percentage, the other spouse may believe that they are owed more because of the sacrifices they have made to care for a house or children. In addition, if one spouse is unable to maintain the quality of life they have become accustomed to, without a higher percentage of the community property, then this could also be justification for an equitable split. When the court decides how to split marital assets, they will consider many things, including:
- How long the marriage lasted.
- Each spouse’s age, health, and employability.
- Each spouse’s ability to support themselves financially after the divorce, and their willingness to try.
- Whether one spouse committed acts such as domestic abuse or adultery that broke down the marriage.
There may also be additional complications if the couple lived together in a property that is classified as separate, but then both go on to contribute to renovating the property. Similarly, if one spouse has helped the other pay off debt or contributed to a business that is considered separate, then all of this should be taken into account.
Skillern Firm Divorce Lawyers Practice Areas
Skillern Firm is a law firm committed to family law cases, as well as property division. We offer a variety of legal services to help our clients at every stage of family law. Our legal services include:
Spousal support is another important issue in regards to your financial security moving forward. In Texas, spousal support or alimony is not always granted. There must be a justification as to why it is needed, for example:
- A marriage lasted at least 10 years and the requesting the spouse is unable to earn sufficient income to maintain “minimum reasonable needs” after divorce.
- Cases involving domestic violence.
- An inability to be self-supporting due to an illness or disability.
Alimony is complex, and like property division, the Judge can consider the education, health, and earning capacity of those involved, as well as the length of the marriage and who has custody of the children. They will also consider whether the requesting spouse has made an effort to try and be self-supporting. If you are fighting for alimony, or you don’t believe that you should have to pay it, a Cypress, TX divorce lawyer at Skillern Firm can help.
When two people have a child, certain responsibilities and rights are placed upon them as a parent. This includes the responsibility to financially contribute to the upbringing of that child. When a marriage ends and there are children involved, the higher-earning spouse will usually be made to pay child custody, unless they themselves are the primary caregiver.
Few issues are as emotional as child custody, especially if one spouse believes that they should be granted sole custody. It has a high potential to cause a breakdown in negotiations, which is why couples with children can greatly benefit from a skilled divorce lawyer.
At Skillern Firm we prioritize mediation, as we believe that this is often what is best for our clients, and their children. We pride ourselves on our ability to help couples come to amicable agreements, even on complex matters such as child custody. We want what’s best for the children, which usually means keeping both parents highly involved in their lives. However, if one parent is likely to have a negative impact on the children’s well-being, for example, if they are guilty of abuse or substance misuse, then an attorney can help you to keep your children protected from them. Even in these situations, the court may approve supervised visitation.
Modification of Order
Court orders are legally binding, however, they can be modified if a substantial change in circumstances can be evidenced. Circumstances change over time, and sometimes commitments made in a divorce order are no longer viable, or no longer in a child’s best interests. For example, if one party becomes ill, loses their job, or finds hidden assets, these could all be justifications for a modification. Another justification could be if you have found your partner to be misusing substances or abusing your children. If this is the case then a Cypress, TX divorce attorney can help you get a protection order so that your children are kept safe while you seek a modification.
Mothers’ and Fathers’ Rights
Texas courts are required to make family law decisions free from gender bias. However, that does not stop some judges from having biases. When you hire an attorney, you ensure that your rights are protected, at Skillern Firm we will always fight for your best interests and won’t rest until we have secured a fair outcome in your case.
Recovery of Attorney Fees
If your ex-spouse earns significantly more than you, then you may be able to recover your attorney fees. It is only fair that you each have access to high-quality legal representation.
Cypress, TX Property Division FAQ
Q: Can we agree amicably on how to divide assets?
A: Texas court always prefers if couples can agree amicably on how to divide assets. At Skillern Firm our Cypress divorce lawyers are skilled mediators and will help you formulate an agreement that works for you, one which a Judge will accept. This will save you a lot of time and money. Of course, it isn’t always possible, which is why a high-quality divorce lawyer will be equally skilled in the courtroom.
Q: What happens to our business if we built it together?
A: If you and your ex-spouse built a business together then you need the guidance of a skilled divorce lawyer. They will help you work out how much time and money each spouse has invested and how to break the business up, or how to compensate the spouse who leaves the marriage without the business. Cases involving additional parties can be particularly complex, so it is a good idea to have skilled representation.
Some couples may want to continue each playing a part in the business, or they may both choose to walk away. Skillern Firm offers a personalized approach and will help you work out a solution that is fair and reasonable and fits your needs.
Q: What happens to our debt?
A: After a legal separation, any debt acquired during the course of the marriage is considered community property. Student loans are an exception to this rule. However, if you believe that debt should belong to one party if, for example, one spouse was clearly responsible for the debt, then you can fight to keep it separate. If the debt is solely assigned in one party’s name and was used for their sole purpose then you should fight to keep it separate. However, if the debt is only in one spouse’s name but was for the purposes of both parties, it will remain community property in the eyes of the court.
Q: What happens to savings, pensions, and employment benefits?
A: When it comes to pensions and retirement funds, they are usually considered community property when either party has added to them during the duration of the marriage. This means that one spouse may be entitled to seek a percentage of those benefits and savings.
Q: Does it matter if one spouse was at fault for the end of the marriage?
A: Most couples in Texas opt for a no-fault divorce, which means they separate on grounds of “insupportability” where no blame is placed on either party. However, if a fault is clear, i.e. one party has been guilty of domestic abuse or adultery, then the court can take that into consideration when dividing assets.
Q: What if my spouse is hiding assets?
A: If your spouse has hidden assets such as offshore accounts or real estate, then your Cypress, TX divorce attorney can work to make sure that they are considered.
Questions to Ask Potential Divorce Lawyers
Many of our clients have never hired an attorney before and approaching the right law firm can feel like a daunting task. Here are some questions that you may want to ask your divorce attorney in Cypress, TX:
- How much experience do you have?
- Who is your typical client?
- Have you represented similar cases in court?
- What level of communication can I expect?
- Can I see testimonials from your previous clients?
- What is your legal specialization?
Contact a Katy Divorce Attorney at Skillern Firm Today
At Skillern Firm, we deal with divorce proceedings, spousal support, child support, child custody, and all other family law matters on a daily basis. Our Cypress divorce lawyers are here to guide you and your former spouse through your divorce case as easily as possible, ensuring a secure and bright future for you both. Every family attorney at Skillern Firm is skilled and experienced in mediation and negotiation, as well as litigation and the complexities of Texas divorce and family law. We can help you understand what “equitable division” means in Texas, and how your case will be viewed in court. A skilled Cypress divorce lawyer is ready to begin guiding you through the process and securing your best possible future.
Call your local office today to arrange an initial consultation at (936) 213-8479.