Few issues in a Texas divorce are as tricky to navigate as the division of marital property. For this reason, we highly recommend you have an experienced divorce attorney on your side. They will be able to help you move through the process and will ensure that asset division is fair. If your property is divided unfairly, then it could make your new life more difficult than it needs to be.
Our Sugar Land divorce lawyers, here at Skillern Firm, can help you and your ex-spouse come to an amicable arrangement, saving you time, stress and energy. If this is not possible, then we will protect your interests in court proceedings. Here at Skillern Firm, we take the time to get to know your individual case, protect the attorney-client relationship and are committed to fighting for your rights and interests. Our goal is to give you the tools to move on to your new life with confidence.
Call us today at (936)-213-8479 to schedule a consultation with an experienced property division attorney.
Family Law in Texas
Texas is one of nine community property states. This means that all property and debts are divided into personal and community (or marital) assets. Community property is presumed to belong equally to each party and may be subject to a 50/50 split. However, either party can fight for an equitable division if they have a “just and right” justification. A Sugar Land divorce lawyer will be important in helping you gather evidence for this.
Dividing Property in Sugar Land, TX
As a community property state, assets in a Texas divorce are split into personal or community property.
Separate property continues to belong to each individual after marriage, it includes:
- Anything owned by each individual prior to marriage.
- Inheritance or gifts.
- Damages from personal injuries.
Community property is everything that was acquired during the course of the marriage. There is a presumption in Texas that community property should be divided evenly upon divorce. However, this presumption can be rebutted and the Judge may divide assets equitably if they see fit. You will need convincing evidence, and high-quality legal representation to fight your case. If you try to do this yourself, it could result in costly mistakes.
Equitable Division of Personal Property
If there are assets that you don’t believe should be divided evenly, then you can fight to keep them. Contested divorce cases involving property division can quickly become complicated, so it is a good idea to seek an initial consultation with a law firm. Justifications for an equitable division include:
- One spouse was clearly at fault for the end of the marriage, i.e. they committed domestic violence or adultery.
- One spouse is the primary caregiver for their children.
- The value of separate property each spouse owns.
- Each spouse’s personal needs, including health, education, and earning capacities.
- Debts that were clearly due to one spouse’s behavior, i.e. gambling or substance misuse.
Complex Property Division Issues
You deserve your fair share of bank accounts, real estate, vehicles, and other jointly owned property. However, while these assets are relatively straightforward, other assets are more difficult to divide. This is one of the areas where a Sugar Land property division lawyer can become invaluable, they will ensure you get your equal share of assets such as:
- Self-owned businesses.
- Off-shore property.
- Stocks and bonds.
Dividing Retirement Accounts
A common area of contention in divorce proceedings is splitting up retirement accounts and pension benefits. You will need to work out what should be considered marital property. A Judge will not approve your agreement if they do not believe it is “just and fair”, which could drag your divorce on for longer and wind up costing you further legal fees.
Spousal Maintenance in Sugar Land, Texas
Spousal maintenance, often referred to as alimony, is another contested issue that could have a big impact on your future. In Texas, the court doesn’t automatically grant alimony, there needs to be a justification for it. Justification could include:
- An inability to be self-supporting due to a disability.
- Cases involving domestic violence.
- A marriage that has lasted a minimum of 10 years where the requesting spouse does not have the ability to earn sufficient income to maintain “minimum reasonable needs” after divorce.
Even when one or more of these factors apply to your divorce, the requesting spouse will still need to make an effort to become self-supporting. Alimony is a complex matter, and the court may consider each spouse’s education, earning capacity, the health of all involved, who has custody of the children, and the length of the marriage. Whether you are fighting for alimony, or don’t believe that you should have to pay it, our Sugar Land property division lawyers at Skillern Firm can help.
Frequently Asked Questions About Property Division, in Sugar Land, TX
Q: How do I know which assets are personal or community property?
A: The first step will be to identify what you owned before you were married. Next, you will need to consider if there are any assets you believe should continue to belong to you, that would otherwise be considered community property. A divorce attorney can help you go through your assets and collect the right evidence.
Q: How does “fault” affect property division?
A: Most couples in Texas opt for a no-fault divorce, which uses “insupportability” as grounds for legal separation, without blaming either party. However, if the fault is clear and appropriate such as instances of adultery or abuse, then the court will consider this when determining asset division.
Q: Can we negotiate property division privately?
A: Yes, in fact, Texas prefers couples to come to their own arrangements. Our family law attorneys at Skillern Firm are highly skilled in mediation and negotiation and will help you come to an agreement amicably. The court will then need to approve your agreement, which they will only do if you can prove that it is just and fair.
Q: Does community property have to be divided equally?
A: Although community property is presumed to be equal property, you can fight to keep assets if you can prove that it is just and fair for you to do so. For example, if you have primary custody of children or there is a large income disparity.
Q: How are debts divided?
A: Debts are treated in the same way as assets under Texas Law. Anything acquired prior to marriage is separate, and anything acquired during is shared. However, you can fight to separate debts if you believe that your spouse is responsible for them. It is important to keep your name away from any debts that your spouse is responsible for paying, as it could affect your credit if they fail to pay.
Q: What if my spouse is hiding assets?
A: If your spouse is hiding assets then you need a Sugar Land property division lawyer who can help you find them and ensure that they are considered in your divorce decree.
Sugar Land Divorce Lawyers
Sugar Land property division lawyers are invaluable when it comes to negotiating the terms of an agreement, drafting the divorce decree, and ensuring court approval. It is essential that your interests are protected during a divorce, as these issues could affect you for the rest of your life. You need an attorney who is skilled in mediation but isn’t afraid to use litigation where necessary. At Skillern Firm, we are committed to protecting your rights and will move your divorce along as quickly as possible, without compromising.
Our Sugar Land property division attorneys at Skillern Firm have the skills, resources, and experience necessary to protect your future. Our practice areas include property division, child custody, high-asset division, and more. We also cover post-divorce issues such as divorce modification and contempt proceedings.
Give us a call today at (936)-213-8479 and arrange an initial consultation with a divorce attorney who is committed to your best interests.