In the United States, somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of married couples get divorced. No one gets married with the intention of one day pulling the plug, but sometimes it makes more sense to part ways than to stay together.
There are a lot of different factors to consider when a divorce is imminent. Oftentimes, the effect that divorce will have on the children involved is at the forefront of each spouses’ mind.
Getting divorced can be stressful, overwhelming, and emotionally taxing. For this reason, having a divorce attorney to work you, can help you to navigate the court system and the entire process with as much ease as possible.
Another major aspect of any divorce is financial. How are the assets divided when you and your partner are ending your marriage? Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.
Preparing to Divide Your Assets
How your assets are divided when you get divorced will depend on which US state you live in.
Here in Texas, the standard is community property (marital property). This means that the assumption is that all property owned or held in the name of both spouses will be evenly split. The court will still consider what is fair when it comes to how to divide assets.
Factors like each spouses’ age and health, contributions during the marriage, earning power, and future financial needs, factor into how assets are divided.
As a part of the process of asset division, you will need to consider what is community property and what is separate property. Community property is property obtained during your marriage.
Community property can be either tangible items or intangible items, and all of these types of property are subject to be divided based on the standard asset division laws in Texas.
Separate property is property that one spouse owns completely before the marriage began, or from gifts or inheritances. This can include vehicles, real estate, heirlooms, and more. Typically, unless the assets have become comingled, the original owner will get to keep their own separate property.
Dividing up separate property can get complicated if it has been shared during the marriage. If the line that separates your property has become blurred, it’s a good idea to work with a property division attorney, such as The Alsandor Law Firm, to craft a settlement agreement.
You also need to decide on a date when you will fix the value of your assets. This step in the process is particularly important for volatile assets such as stocks.
Initial Court Inquiry
In the state of Texas, there will be an initial inquiry that revolves around determining what property is separate and what property is considered community.
There are a number of factors that will be considered once the community estate is established. Determining which property is in the community estate is something that a property division attorney such as The Alsandor Law Firm can help you with. They can help guide you in getting the information and documents you need in order to make sure that your liabilities and assets are identified accurately.
Does Community Property Have to Be Divided Evenly?
The assets of a divorcing couple must be divided equitably, however, this does not always mean that they have to be split 50-50.
In certain circumstances, there might be justifiable reasons that cause one spouse to be favored over the other in a divorce settlement. This is particularly true if there is an income disparity; if one spouse will be a custodial parent; if a party possesses separate property of considerable value; or, if there were fault-based grounds for the divorce.
Can Divorcing Spouses Agree on Property Division?
It is encouraged that divorcing spouses agree on how they divide their assets whenever it is possible. When the two parties involved come to an agreement between themselves, the court will typically approve the agreement.
Having a property division attorney can be incredibly helpful in every step of this process.
Is Fault a Factor When It Comes to Property Division?
For the purposes of divorce, Texas is a no-fault state for the most part. However, there are certain circumstances where pleading a fault based ground is appropriate, such as cases that deal with adultery, abandonment, or cruelty.
If it is determined by the court that one of these fault grounds was the cause of the divorce, then the judge might consider this in regards to how to divide assets.
How Are Debts Divided?
It is important to seek the help of a divorce attorney when dividing debts. While any financial obligations you and your spouse share are divided in the same way community property is, it’s important to be cautious. For example, if you have your name on debt and the agreement is for your spouse to pay it, there could be consequences for your credit score if they don’t make the payments on time or at all.
An Attorney Can Help You Navigate the Divorce Process
Asset division is one of the aspects of divorce that can feel incredibly messy. When you’re married, everything about your lives becomes entwined. When it’s time to part ways, the process of dividing up your physical and intangible assets can be overwhelming.
That’s why it’s a good idea to have a property division attorney to help guide you through the process. They are familiar with your state’s divorce laws and how to navigate the court system. When you have an attorney at your side, you won’t have to struggle through confusing legalistic paperwork all on your own.
Now that you know the answer to “how are assets divided?” you might be looking for an experienced attorney in your area. Contact The Alsandor Law Firm today if you have any questions about asset division or are looking for a divorce lawyer that handles simple and complex property division.