Going through a divorce can be difficult financially and emotionally. But one aspect of divorce that’s usually pretty straightforward is property division.
Texas law makes it easy to interpret and understand since the property is divided into three categories – separate, community, and mixed-asset property.
Separate property, as the name suggests, is the property you held before you were married. But that’s not all. It also includes property you were gifted during the marriage, but the gift was just intended for you and not your spouse.
You may have acquired the property as a gift, inheritance, or as a settlement in a lawsuit. If the property can be categorized as separate, with only one party owning it, our attorneys can ensure the property stays with said person and doesn’t become a part of the property division.
Community property is all property that belongs to you and your spouse at the time of divorce. The list of what can be included in community property is large, but a few examples include:
Here’s where it gets tricky. Texas law requires that community property is divided in a divorce, but they don’t say how. For example, they don’t state each party should get 50%. They just state the division should be ‘just and right.’
What is just and right depends on the circumstances of the divorce and is where your Austin divorce attorneys come into play. If one spouse carries the weight of the financial burden or one spouse did some wrongdoing to cause the divorce, it could affect the division of community property.
Sometimes you’ll have property that was once separate but is now community or part of the asset is separate and the other part community.
This is another area where it can get tricky. Since you can’t clearly state which part is separate and which is community property, you will need the help of an Austin divorce attorney to help you prove which part you or your spouse owns and which part should be a part of the property division in the divorce.
There are often special circumstances that go on during a divorce, but rarely are they cut and dry. If that’s the case, you’ll need the help of a professional divorce attorney to ensure your rights are covered.
For example, if one spouse claims he/she worked harder or earned more and deserves more of the community property, it could be a decision left up to the judge.
In other cases, couples have an amicable divorce and agree on how to split the property. Together with our help, you can approach the judge with your request and it might get approved, avoiding any major court appearances or long delays.
Sometimes, though, spouses don’t agree, and one spouse wants to be reimbursed for the improvements made to separate property that will now not be a part of their property after the division.
Every divorce is different and requires different counsel and help to make sure they get what they deserve from the divorce.
Debt can be a part of your property too. The judge will decide who is responsible for the debts in the marriage, but like property, they can be separate or community debts.
Separate debts remain the responsibility of the person who owns the debt. Community debts, though are the responsibility of both parties or whoever the judge decides is responsible. Usually, they are split 50/50, but it depends on the circumstances.
Keep in mind, though, that even if the judge determines your spouse is responsible for the debt, your name is still on it. Unless your spouse refinances the debt and gets your name off, you could still be held responsible if he/she doesn’t make the payments.
Property division isn’t something to take lightly. If you’re married and you acquire property together, chances are it must be divided during the divorce.
Having the right counsel by your side can help ensure you get what you deserve. Our professional attorneys will determine which property is separate and which is community, and then advise you on how best to proceed. Never assume your property will be divided 50/50, let the professionals guide you to help you understand your rights and what could happen during the divorce. Call us today at (512) 528-1900 for a free consultation!