According to the Texas Family Code: “In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall order a division of the estate of the parties in a manner that the court deems just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage.” Tex. Fam. Code § 7.001. This statement of the law does not quite encompass the emotional strain that can result from the process of dividing up property in a divorce. I focus my practice on resolving property disputes through listening carefully to my clients and communicating with them every step of the way, ensuring that they feel that their voices have been heard and that they were treated fairly.
Property division in Texas involves a detailed appraisal of the marital property in order to characterize it as community or separate property. Generally, in Texas, you get to keep your “separate property” and the “community property” is divided equally between the spouses. Some examples of Community property are: wages earned during the marriage, property purchased during the marriage, and certain retirement benefits earned during the marriage. Separate property includes what you brought into the marriage, if you owned a car before you got married for instance, and inheritance as long as it was not comingled with community property during the marriage.
This is, of course, an oversimplification of the process, as it can often be very confusing to tell what is separate and what is community upon first glance. For example, if your spouse owned a house prior to your marriage, but then proceeded to make payments on the mortgage of that house with community funds during the marriage, they would actually owe you a reimbursement of a portion of the value at the time of divorce. As you can see, you need skilled legal representation to help assure that you are getting your fair share in your marital property division, please don’t hesitate to call me to help you with your Texas property division questions.
Property division can be a complex and contentious area of your divorce, but with the right help on your side you can get through it. Property to be divided can include your home, any other real estate owned together, simple household items, stocks and other investments, and certain retirement benefits. This can quickly become a headache to try to figure out on your own. Call me today to ask me how I can help with your property division and what you can expect throughout the process.
Retirement benefits can be some of the most difficult elements of a division of marital property, but with the right knowledge and experience on your side a fair settlement can be reached. You need an attorney that can analyze the type of benefits in question and draft the appropriate order to assure a proper division of retirement benefits. Call me today with your questions about division of retirement benefits-your first consultation is free.
Shawn H. Smith is an experienced family law attorney serving San Antonio, Seguin, New Braunfels, San Marcos, Floresville and more. Call today for your free consultation, available nights and weekends for your convenience.