Apart from matters involving children, property distribution is typically the most contentious issue in a divorce. The law requires the division to be fair. However, deciding what is fair under the circumstances, especially if the couple has minor children, can be a process that is fraught with emotion.
A Wells Branch property division lawyer at Angela Faye Brown & Associates could defend your rights in a divorce and ensure that you walk away with a fair share. If you will be providing a home for your children, an experienced family attorney could protect the standard of living your children enjoyed before the split.
In general, the law treats all property the couple possesses when they dissolve their marriage as marital property subject to equitable distribution. However, the law recognizes that a spouse might have owned property before marriage, and they should retain sole rights to that property.
The law will treat anything a spouse possessed before entering marriage as their personal property, not subject to equitable distribution. This includes:
However, if a spouse treated their personal property like marital property, the other spouse could claim a portion of it. For example, if one partner used an inheritance to fund improvements on the family home, the increased value of the home is a joint asset, not a personal asset. A Wells Branch property division attorney could advise whether a specific asset is joint or personal property under the law.
Texas Family Code §7.001 requires a judge to split marital property in a manner that is just, considering all the circumstances. Although this process is called “equitable distribution,” it does not mean that each party leaves with an equal share of the assets.
A judge must consider multiple factors when determining how to divide marital property. The relevant factors include the:
In most divorces, a judge does not make property division decisions. Typically, the parties decide these matters in negotiations between themselves or through mediation or arbitration. However, a judge must approve any agreement the parties reach and will consider the above factors when reviewing an asset division settlement.
Divorces can be bitter, and people sometimes try to hide assets from their spouse to avoid sharing them in a property distribution agreement. Sometimes a spouse tries to keep certain assets like bank accounts or brokerage accounts secret. If they own a business, they could take assets out of the business to diminish its value as community property. Executives could have their company pay them in stock or bonuses payable at a future date rather than allow their spouse to claim part of it. Attempting to hide assets in a divorce is always ill-advised because a person who does is subject to significant penalties if the judge learns of it before the divorce is final. If a former spouse learns that their partner failed to disclose assets, they could even reopen the property distribution settlement case.
A savvy property division lawyer who represents divorcing spouses in Wells Branch understands the many methods a spouse might use to hide their assets. With the help of a team of accountants, business valuation experts, and others, they could expose these attempts and protect the other spouse’s right to a fair share.
Divorces can cause good people to behave badly. A person might try to punish a spouse by denying them a fair share of the marital property.
A Wells Branch property division lawyer understands the emotional significance of splitting up marital property and is prepared to assist in a way that protects each spouse’s right to a fair distribution. Call today to arrange an appointment with a skilled attorney at Angela Faye Brown & Associates.