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The Foray Firm

Katy, Texas Division of Community Property Lawyer

Fort Bend County Property Division Lawyer

Fort Bend County Attorney Explains Division of Marital Assets and Debts in Texas Divorce

Texas is considered a community property state because all assets acquired during a marriage are assumed to be owned equally by both spouses, regardless of whose name is on the title. However, this does not necessarily mean that your divorce settlement must divide your marital assets and debts 50/50. Rather, Texas divorce law calls for community property to be divided in a just and right manner, and the determination of "just and right division" can take many different factors, including fault, into account . In fact, Texas courts have upheld divorce settlements that awarded as much as 80 percent of the marital assets to one spouse.

Your share of the marital estate will play a major role in your long-term financial security, especially if you do not qualify for spousal support. Having a financially astute divorce lawyer on your side can be a significant advantage during property negotiations.

At The Foray Firm, we understand how hard you worked for everything you own. We also understand the emotional attachments we all have to certain belongings. But most importantly, we know how to develop strong arguments in your favor and how to manage negotiations so that you receive the largest possible share of marital assets.

Texas Definition of Marital Property and Separate Property

The attorneys of The Foray Firm Houston will work with you to create a complete inventory of all assets owned by you and/or your spouse, negotiate the division of marital property, and secure your exclusive rights to your separate property.

Marital property, also known as community property in Texas, generally consists of all income earned and all property acquired by either spouse during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title and regardless of the income contributed by each spouse. Retirement benefits accumulated during the marriage are generally considered community property, including pensions, IRA accounts, and 401k accounts held by one spouse's employer.

Each spouse's separate property consists of any assets and retirement savings owned prior to the marriage, any personal gifts and inheritances received during the marriage, and any personal injury awards excluding amounts awarded for loss of earning capacity during the marriage. You must show clear and convincing evidence to support your claim to each piece of separate property, particularly the value of pre-owned investments that may have risen or fallen over the years.

Texas Law on Marital Property Division

The lawyers of The Foray Firm Houston will help you obtain your full and fair share of marital property while minimizing income tax consequences.

Key steps in the process include:

  • Identification of all debts and assets of both spouses, including any assets that one spouse may be trying to hide.
  • Classification of debts and assets as either separate or community property.
  • Valuation of major assets. We may need to get updated appraisals of real estate, high-value collectibles, and antiques, a spouse's professional practice, or a family-owned business.
  • Division of community property. Once the entire marital estate is valued, many subjective factors must be weighed to determine what percentage of the total should be awarded to each spouse. Only then can individual items such as real estate, cars, furniture, and savings be assigned to one spouse or divided between the spouses as appropriate.

Once your divorce is final, you cannot go back to court years later to request modification of your property division order the way you can request modification of a child support order. Thus, it is crucial that we develop strong arguments in your favor prior to beginning property division negotiations.

Some of the factors that we can argue to get you a larger share of the marital estate include:

  • Your spouse has a larger amount of separate property for self-support, so you should receive a larger share of marital assets to ensure that you can be self-sufficient.
  • You should be awarded the marital home or family business because it came from your side of the family or because you provided the down payment from your premarital assets.
  • You deserve a larger share of the estate to compensate for your spouse's fraud, wasteful spending, or violent behavior.
  • Your spouse cannot afford to pay a lot of child support, so you should receive a larger share of marital assets for the good of the children. A similar argument can be made with regard to spousal support.
  • Compensation for: your attorney fees, taxes you will owe if you had to liquidate a retirement account to complete the property settlement, insurance and other benefits that you will lose as a result of the divorce, and expenses you incurred to maintain or sell your marital home or family business during the divorce proceedings.

Fort Bend County Division of Community Property Lawyers

The attorneys of The Foray Firm are dedicated to providing reliable legal representation to families of all races, ethnicities, and genders. Contact us in our Houston, TX office at 832-919-6400. We serve clients throughout Houston, Harris County, Waller County, and Fort Bend County, including the communities of Fulshear, Katy, Richmond, and Sugar Land.

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