When dividing assets during divorce, one of the most important negotiations involves the division of a former couple’s property. Texas is a community property state. This means that most property that is acquired during your marriage is the property of both spouses. Joint property needs to be divided equitably during divorce. However, some property is considered individual property and is not subject to divorce decrees. Knowing which assets fall into which qualification can help you understand your rights and obligations.
What Is Considered Community Property in Texas?
Under Texas law, community property is all property that was acquired by either spouse during the marriage. Items that can be considered community property can include houses, vehicles, retirement accounts, stocks, bank accounts and other items.
Under state law, it is necessary to divide assets in a way that is considered just and right. There are a number of factors that are considered when dividing assets during divorce. These can include:
- whether there is fault in the breakup of the marriage.
- whether former partners have been honest and transparent about the existence and worth of assets.
- whether there are children and which parent will have residential custody.
- the health of both partners.
- the earning capacity of each partner.
- each party’s education level and future employability.
How property will be dispersed will depend on the type of asset. A 401(k), for instance, will usually require that the employer disburse funds within 30 to 90 days of the divorce settlement. An asset like a pension will require that your attorney prepare a form known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) that outlines how and when benefits should be distributed.
What Properties Can Be Considered Separate?
While community property must be divided between the spouses equitably, separate property is retained by the individual. Any assets that were acquired before the marriage are generally considered separate property. Other items that include gifts to one spouse, inheritance and damages awarded for personal injuries are also considered separate property.
By default, all property is considered community property. You will need to declare which items are separate property and present evidence that supports your claim. This can include wills, documents pertaining to personal injury judgments and affidavits in the case of gifts. Because of the strict requirements, the assistance of a skilled divorce lawyer is needed.
We want to make sure that, when it comes to dividing assets during divorce, you get a result that is fair and equitable. Our caring San Antonio attorney has the experience and knowledge you need on your side. Get in touch today for a consultation.