Numerous personal, legal and financial issues must be resolved for a divorce to become official. One such important matter is asset distribution. Couples who are considering divorce, and have questions and concerns about division or property and debts should contact an experienced Texas divorce attorney. A divorce attorney can assist you in explaining how the issue of property allocation is decided in Texas.
Definition Of Property
Property is defined as any type of monetary or material possession such as:
- accounts held at various financial institutions
- real estate
- stocks and other types of financial investments
- any other asset that possesses some intrinsic value
As you can see this can be very complex and requires the legal knowledge and experience of a divorce attorney.
The Community Property Principle
The State of Texas subscribes to a legal tenet known as the Community Property Principle. This means that only assets a separating couple accrued during their married life are subjugated to the allocation process. Community property is considered apart from separate property, which is defined as property either partner obtained prior to getting married or holdings like gifts and family inheritances.
How Is Asset Allocation Resolved?
Some parting spouses commit themselves to divorcing amicably and resolving key issues like property distribution amongst themselves. Texas courts typically approve such arrangements following a period of review. Once said review is completed, said agreement will likely be entered into the final divorce decree.
Unfortunately, many divorces have the potential to be significantly more contentious. Property and debt division is generally decided by the court based upon the evidence provided by you and your divorce attorney, and the opposing counsel.
Texas courts adhere to a legal provision called equitable distribution. This mandate instructs the adjudicating body to allocate the couple’s assets in an equitable manner. With that said, “equitable” does not always mean an even 50 percent take away for both sides. Several factors will go into the court’s ultimate decision including but not necessarily limited to:
- The marriage’s duration
- If either spouse will be taking on sole or primary custody of any minor children the couple shares
- Each spouse’s current financial status
- Each party’s age
- Each individual’s physical and mental health
- Each spouse’s earning capacity or need to attain the skills needed to retain more lucrative employment
- The financial and individual contributions each party made to the marriage.
- If either spouse engaged in some type of malfeasance such as abuse, addiction, adultery or any other questionable or dishonest activity
In reference to individual contributions, one spouse might have made personal sacrifices such as forgoing their own employment to support the other partner’s career or to take on the domestic role caring for home and children. Adjudicating bodies will often weigh such considerations.
It is important to reiterate that other provisions might warrant attention from a court. Any divorcing party is urged to bring any asset allocation issues to the attention of their Texas divorce attorney in the earliest possible stages of the divorce process.
Divorce does not abrogate divorcing couples of their obligation to remit the debts they have accrued. Debts are allocated much like assets are. However, if one spouse engaged in behavior that might have precipitated the accumulation of specific debts such as gambling or addiction, a court is more likely to mandate that said individual be responsible for these debts.
Divorce is a complicated legal issue that requires the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney, especially if you are dealing with property and debt division. It is important that you have legal representation to guide you and make sure that you are properly represented and protected.
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