What You Need to Know About Property Division in Texas
How property gets divided is usually one of the most difficult parts of a divorce case. At the Family Law firm of Donna J. Smiedt, we look at how the property accumulated prior to and during a marriage. It is important to keep in mind that an equitable distribution of property does not always mean equal shares, but rather what is just and fair. To ensure that your divorce is as equitable as possible, call a property division attorney in Arlington, TX, today.
What Is Property Division?
Before a final divorce decree can be entered, the court must decide who gets what. To do this, the judge will look at what property and debt the couple has and enter an order for the fair division of that property. To do this, the court has to first determine which items are community property and which belong to only one spouse.
Because Texas is a community property state, the judge will consider all property acquired during the marriage to be owned equally by both spouses. In contrast, any property acquired prior to marriage may be considered separate property and the spouse who brought that piece of property into the marriage should be able to keep it.
The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt knows how important it is to come out of a divorce feeling independent.
However, the classification of community versus separate property may change over time. As a result, coming to a decision on these items can sometimes be a fraught discussion. If you and your spouse are unable to agree on who should take the property, the court will take evidence and make a final decision for you.
What Assets Are Divided during A Divorce?
In order to come up with an accurate property division order, it is important to first list the assets subject to division. These commonly include:
- Real estate
- Bank accounts
- Retirement accounts
- Personal property, such as a car
- Antiques and artwork
- Interests in a family-owned business
Once the assets have been identified, the court is then tasked with determining who gets what and which items are separate or community property. Your attorney will argue for a division of property that is fair to you.
Reaching an Agreement Regarding Property Division
You do not necessarily need to rely on the court to split up your property. Couples are always free to negotiate on their own and come up with a proposal for property distribution. However, if an agreement cannot be made, the judge will take over. It is important to keep in mind, though, that what is considered fair by the court may not seem fair to you.
It is also possible to sell assets and divide the proceeds, to avoid having to determine who gets specific pieces of property and other assets. Additionally, if one spouse has debts that need to be repaid, you may need to make adjustments to how property is awarded.
Where To Turn for Help With Property Division Issues
The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt knows how important it is to come out of a divorce feeling independent. This includes making sure you are awarded enough property to stand on your own and start fresh. We also pride ourselves on providing a relaxed environment so you can focus on the issues in your case. For more information about property division, call our office at 817-572-9900 or contact us online.