Houston Property Division Attorney
Property division at the time of divorce can be one of the most complex issues, requiring the care and attention of an experienced attorney who can protect your rights. Whether you are concerned about keeping your family home, dividing retirement funds or protecting your right to assets acquired during the marriage, The Alsandor Law Firm can protect your rights.
At the time of divorce, your financial security may be at risk. You can protect your investments and your rights with an experienced attorney skilled in complex property division cases. Contact The Alsandor Law Firm for a consultation.
The Alsandor Law Firm Can Help You Manage Property Division
We take a strategic and comprehensive approach to protect the financial investments of our clients facing divorce. Cheryl Alsandor is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board Legal Specialization and has extensive experience in dealing with the complex issues arising in a divorce, including the division of assets. In addition to the division of marital assets including real estate and savings, we also have extensive experience in cases involving the division of business assets and property.
We Handle All Types of Property Division Cases:
- Retirement accounts: QDRO orders, 401Ks
- Equitable distribution: separate and community property
- Real estate: home, vacation homes, business property, property exchange in-kind
- Business assets: real estate, debts, assets
- Division of debts: medical debt, credit card debt, mortgage debt
Property Division in the State of Texas
Texas is a community property state, meaning that the court will divide all assets and debts acquired during the marriage in a just and right manner. In addition to your marital assets, including real estate, accounts, and business assets, your debts will also be distributed, including medical debts, credit card debts, and business debs. The property division may not be “equal” but “just and right” given the circumstances of each case.
When you file for divorce, the court will evaluate all of your property and work to determine fair property division. The court will begin that determination with a presumption that both spouses own any property acquired during the marriage. Anything that is not specifically separate property will be community property according to the court.
What Is Separate Property?
Separate property is anything that belonged to one person prior to marriage and was kept as separate property throughout the marriage. This may include:
- property that one party inherited or obtained in a prior divorce
- gifts that one spouse received during the marriage may also be separate property
- personal injury settlements or compensation obtained in another type of lawsuit
Anything that is considered separate property does not have to go through property division.
What Is Community Property?
Anything considered community property does have to go through property division. This may include property that both spouses acquired jointly or used together. Real property is the most common type of personal property. Vehicles and personal property may also be considered community property. Intangible property, such as savings and investments, are also typically considered community property.
Property division in Texas can be complex. You may be confused about what is considered community property and what you can keep as separate property. Consult an experienced divorce attorney to find out what will happen to your belongings.
The Court May Not Distribute Property Equally
The court will determine a property division that is “just and right.” That doesn’t mean that it will be equal. The court will consider all factors to make a reasonable division of property. Factors they will consider include:
- Education of both spouses
- Age of spouses
- Health of both people
- Earning capacities
- Business opportunities
- Work history of both people
- Cause of the failure of the marriage
- Any other factor the court deems relevant
Although one spouse may have worked and accumulated a savings, they will not necessarily get to keep all of that money. The court will also consider the contributions of the other spouse, who may have been a homemaker, when determining property division.
If one spouse cheated, thereby leading to the failure of the marriage, then the other spouse may be given more property than the other. If one spouse gets custody of the children, that spouse may obtain ownership of the family home. There are many considerations when dividing property during a divorce.
Division of Debt in a Divorce
Like property division, the court will divide debt in a way that it considers “just and right.” That does not necessarily mean that debt will be divided equally. The court will consider the ability of both spouses to pay debt as well as a host of other factors when dividing debt.
Even if the debt was in your name, if it was used to benefit your entire family, it may be considered joint debt by the court. This may include credit cards, payday loans, personal loans, and more that you accumulated in your own name. Although debt is not considered community property, but community debt, if it was used to benefit the family, it may be distributed between the spouses.
Separate debt, as opposed to community debt, may be that which belongs to only one spouse. That may include debt accumulated prior to the marriage or for the benefit of only one spouse. The court may also consider some business debt to be separate debt belonging to one spouse or the business one spouse owns.
Your divorce attorney nay be able to prove that you should not shoulder the majority of the debt from your marriage. Property division involving debt can be complex and requires a strong legal argument. Work with a property division attorney who can help you with this situation.
Making an Agreement on Property Division
Property division and separation of debt are not always contentious topics. Sometimes spouses agree on how community property and debt should be separated. If you and your spouse agree on property division, then you can make an agreement that will be included in your divorce documents. Although the court will review your agreement, the judge usually approves such agreements.
If your property division is unequal, you may have to have a reason for the division that you have chosen. The judge will want to know that neither spouse is unfairly receiving pressure. You don’t have to agree to equal property division, but it should seem just and fair. If there is a great deviation in the property division, then you may have to state why.
Even if you and your spouse do not agree to property division details, then you could go through mediation to make an agreement. Oftentimes, such an agreement is more favorable to both sides than the determination of a judge. Your Houston divorce lawyer can help you negotiate with your soon to be ex-spouse’s attorney to come to a fair division of property.
Contact a Skilled Houston, TX Attorney About Property Division
Contact The Alsandor Law Firm for a consultation with Cheryl Alsandor, a divorce and property law specialist, or another family law attorney, serving clients throughout the Greater Houston, Texas area.