The Woodlands property division lawyers of the BB Law Group PLLC know that during marriage, a couple often accumulates an extensive amount of shared assets and debts. As part of the divorce proceedings, spouses must determine who is responsible for each of these. Choosing how to equitably divide property at the end of a marriage can be challenging, but the assistance of an experienced, compassionate attorney can significantly reduce the difficulty of this process.
If you or someone you know is contemplating divorce and wants to know more about how property may be divided, a qualified Woodlands property division attorney can help. We can discuss the amount of debt and assets you have as a couple as well as the different ways in which it may be divided in a divorce. Contact the BB Law Group PLLC today at (832) 534-2589 to speak with a dedicated legal representative about the details of your case.
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Negotiating the division of property is a major step towards the successful dissolution of your marriage, which is why the legal team at the BB Law Group PLLC is dedicated to completing this process as smoothly and fairly as possible. Our Woodlands property division lawyers can help you pursue equitable agreements for the following:
The fair distribution of property ensures that you are prepared to tackle your next stage in life without being burdened by an unjust amount of debt or missing the assets that are most important to you, making it incredibly important to have an experienced attorney working with you as you divide property in your divorce.
How does the court decide property division cases?
In the state of Texas, the courts require that the property is divided in a manner that is “fair and just.” This rather vague definition can cause problems for couples going through a divorce. While some assets are typically off limits such as gifts given specifically to one spouse, property inherited by one spouse, the property of each spouse acquired before marriage, and damages owed from lawsuits, in certain situations, the details of your specific financial situation may determine exactly what is “fair and just.” To determine what is fair for both spouses, the court may take into account who is responsible for the dissolution of the marriage, who will have primary custody of the children and the earning power of each spouse. During this process, it is essential to have a committed and experienced family attorney at your side to help fight for what you are owed and what property you should be allowed to retain.
Do I need a property division attorney?
At BB Law Group PLLC, we recommend always having a family attorney on your side if you are going through a divorce and subsequent property division. The division of assets in the state of Texas can get confusing because of what the Texas courts deem to be “fair and just” property division. Even if you and your spouse agree to the terms of your divorce and property division on your own, it is still important to seek experienced legal counsel to make sure your rights and best interests are protected. Our attorneys are prepared to any questions you may have regarding your divorce and property division. Your spouse’s attorneys may lay claim to assets including your home, vehicle, personal property, heirlooms, or stocks and other investments. This is just one of the reasons it is important to have a property division lawyer in your corner. We will fight for your assets and protect what is rightfully yours.
Is property always divided equally?
Texas does not follow the principles of equitable distribution but divides the assets in a manner that is meant to be fair and equal to both spouses. Each partner may feel entitled to certain assets which they deem are theirs; however, the court may disagree. Therefore, it is crucial to have a skilled attorney by your side to protect your assets. Your financial standing may impact what the court deems “fair and just.” It is critical to have a skilled and experienced attorney by your side to protect your assets and your best interests during your divorce and the subsequent property division questions that inevitably arise.
What’s the difference between separate property and community property?
Community property is property acquired by either spouse during the marriage that is not the separate property of one of the parties. Texas is a community property state, which means that all property – including money, real estate, and other assets – acquired by either spouse during their marriage is presumed to be community property. Therefore, this property is shared and jointly owned by both spouses.
In Texas, separate property is defined as:
- Property and assets obtained by a spouse prior to the marriage;
- Property acquired by one spouse only during the marriage as an inheritance or gift
- Compensation recovered for injuries suffered by one spouse only during the marriage (an exception being damages for the loss of earnings)
The court divides community property only after there is a presumption that all property either spouse possesses at the time of divorce is community property. In Texas, income from separate property is considered community property. For instance, if you owned a rental house before your marriage and then, during the marriage, you received rent payments, that money is community property. On the other hand, if you owned stock shares prior to the marriage and those stocks increased in value during the marriage, the stocks will still remain separate property.
Can I get some of my spouse’s employment benefits?
Benefits related to employment, including a pension, profit-sharing, and retirement, are considered community property and are subject to division upon divorce. If the court awards a portion of a spouse’s employment benefits to the other spouse, the lawyers will prepare a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (or QDRO, pronounced “cue-dro” or “qua-dro”) to be sent to the employer. This special court order grants that the individual has a right to a portion of their spouse’s retirement benefits they earned through participation in an employer-sponsored retirement plan. While QDROs are usually prepared during divorce proceedings, they can be filed years after the divorce.
With cash accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, the employer will typically disburse the funds in 30 to 90 days. In the case of a pension plan, the court order will supply the employer with the percentage of the payment to be sent to the spouse. The court does not have to divide employment benefits exactly equally between the spouses. For instance, if each spouse has a separate retirement account from employment, the court could award each of the spouses their own account, especially if the amounts in each are relatively similar.
How are businesses divided in a divorce?
Dividing businesses is among the most complicated aspects of property division. Many details and issues need to be reviewed, including the date that the business was founded in relation to the marriage and its operation. It needs to be determined whether it was truly a family business, where both spouses were partners in running the business, or if it was run solely by one of the spouses. Another consideration is whether the business will continue after the divorce or be dissolved. An experienced Texas divorce attorney will investigate all these issues and help you come up with a business property division that works for both parties.
Does child custody have an impact on property division?
Child custody arrangements may have an impact on the property division in your Texas divorce. State law calls for equitable division of property based on a number of factors, one of which is parenting time. The parent who has custody of the children may be the one who gets the home to raise the child in and may also get a larger chunk of the property overall. The attorneys at BB Law Group PLLC will carefully review your child custody plans as we put together a case designed to get you a fair division of the property.
How do Texas courts handle the marital home?
The parent with primary possession of the children can generally expect the judge to award them the marital home if it is financially feasible to do so. It is common for the custodial parent to be allowed to live in the home with the children for a specified period of time after the divorce is finalized. During that time, the spouse who lives in the home is typically required to make all mortgage, property tax, and insurance payments. The house must be sold when there are no children living there, or the youngest child reaches the age of 18.
If you are considering divorce, it is important to discuss your situation with a committed attorney to learn more about important processes like the division of property. Contact a Woodlands property division lawyer with the BB Law Group PLLC today at (832) 534-2589 to speak with a knowledgeable legal professional and learn more about what you can expect regarding your divorce proceedings.