Denton County Property Division Lawyers
Assertive and Results-Driven Advocates Championing Your Rights in Highland Village, Flower Mound and Argyle
Property division is one of the most important topics of negotiation in a divorce, as it involves the finances you may or may not carry with you after divorce. However, rest assured that an aggressive and experienced property division lawyer at Burrows Law Group who has handled many high-net worth cases in the past can protect your assets and champion your interests. Our firm takes a results-driven approach to representation, and we will fight assertively for your property rights.
Dividing Community Property
When it comes to property division following a divorce, Texas abides by community property laws, which means that it presumes most property acquired during the marriage belongs to both spouses. As such, the court must divide this shared property equally between both spouses at divorce. It is possible for the court to order an unequal division if they find just reason, though this is to their discretion.
As community property is any property acquired or earned during the marriage that isn’t established as separate property (below), a variety of assets qualify as marital property up for division. For instance, the most common types of community property that will be divided in divorce are real and immediate property like the family home, personal property, and intangible property like income and benefits. Debts that either spouse incurred while married will also be considered community debts that belong equally to both spouses. Additionally, retirement accounts, such as 401(k) and pension benefits, are also considered community property if either spouse earned or contributed to them during the marriage. In the division process, the court will evaluate each spouse’s accounts and determine how much of it belongs to the marital estate for distribution. Note that a spouse’s premarital contributions remain separate property, and only the contributions made during the marriage are subject to division.
In certain cases when one or both spouses run their own businesses, a judge will consider the business or professional practice like any other asset. Generally, the court will need to determine the value of the business, often aided by certified public accountants and appraisers the spouse may hire. Our attorneys at Burrows Law Group have significant experience in complex and high net worth divorces, so we can ably walk you through whatever your property division concern that may include your business.
What Is Considered Separate Property?
Separate property in property division matters is anything that belonged to one spouse before marriage and was kept separate throughout the marriage. Separate property cannot be divided upon divorce, and it could include income from separate property, property that was given only to one spouse during the marriage, or an inheritance that one spouse received from a relative. Damages from a personal injury lawsuit or settlement may also remain the separate property of the injured spouse unless it includes money to compensate for the loss of earning capacity during marriage. Note that a spouse who wants to keep an asset off the table from division must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the asset is separate property.
Factors for Determining Distribution
The court will decide on the division of assets based on a reasonable understanding of what will be most fair. To determine how to distribute the marital property, the court may consider the following factors:
- the education, ages, and health of the spouses, as well as their earning capacities, skills, and business opportunities;
- whether a spouse is a primary caregiver for their shared children;
- the amount of separate property each spouse owns;
- whether one spouse was at fault in causing the marriage to fail.
Note that as with many divorce negotiations, spouses have the option to discuss a property division agreement between themselves or in mediation before defaulting to a court decision. They can submit a settlement agreement deeming one spouse to sell the home and split the proceeds, allowing one spouse to keep the retirement benefits, etc. The court will then evaluate and approve the agreement. If spouses cannot cooperate to reach an agreement, however, the court will make the final decision.
Who Gets the Home in a Texas Divorce?
Divorces have a tendency to last quite a while, and it's a common concern that you will have to reside in the same home as your spouse during this time period. Unless you have a protective order filed against your spouse, you cannot force them out during these proceedings. If your home was purchased before the marriage, then take this time to gather evidence of your house being separate property. This can prevent your house from being sold and divided equally by the court.
If it was purchased during the marriage, then you have several options:
- You can buy out your spouse's share of the property and continue to reside in the home
- You can split the equity 50/50 by selling the home
- You can make a case to the judge that the best interests of the children involve them staying within their childhood home
Contact Burrows Law Group for Legal Help
If you are currently embroiled in a property division case, seek legal representation immediately to ensure you put your best foot forward in negotiation. An experienced property division attorney can evaluate the circumstance of your asset distribution situation and safeguard your rights as a property owner. At Burrows Law Group, we take a results-driven approach to our litigation and will fight assertively for our clients’ rights to their property, especially in the face of consequential situations like divorce. We have handled numerous high net worth cases before, and we are well aware of the high-profile finances a divorcing spouse needs to protect.
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