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How Do Divorcing Spouses Divide Their Assets in Texas? 

Posted on in Divorce

fort worth divorce lawyerAmong the many issues that must be decided in a divorce is property division. Couples often disagree about how to best divide their marital property, as both partners may feel equally entitled to certain assets and do not want to give up what they see as rightfully belonging to them. 

Further complicating this process can be disagreement over which assets even qualify as marital property and which are non-marital or separate property. If you are getting divorced in Texas and anticipate disagreement over the property division process, a Texas divorce attorney with Hatton & Hatton, PLLC can help. 

Which Property Gets Split Up in a Texas Divorce? 

Everything that is considered marital property or debt needs to be divided before a divorce can be finalized. However, certain property is not part of this process. Property owned by either spouse before a marriage began, property inherited by either spouse during the marriage, or property gifted to either spouse is typically seen as personal property and is not subject to division. 

However, certain situations can muddle the line between personal and marital property. For example, what happens if one spouse bought a home, got married, and then shared mortgage payments with the other spouse, despite never putting the second spouse’s name on the home’s title? Without a prenuptial agreement stating otherwise, the equivalent of the home’s value that the second spouse put into the home’s mortgage may very well belong to them in the divorce. In certain situations, outside experts like forensic accountants may even be necessary to determine what share of an asset belongs to either spouse. 

How Do Couples Determine Which Asset Goes to Which Spouse? 

In general, courts prefer spouses to try to figure out how to divide their assets amongst themselves before approaching a court to ask for help. A judge can step in if necessary, but he or she may first order a feuding couple to attend mediation to try to resolve their differences. If that is unsuccessful, the spouses’ respective attorneys may be able to negotiate a settlement. If negotiations fail, the judge may proceed with the process of dividing assets on behalf of the couple. 

Certain assets are easy to divide. For example, perhaps a family heirloom with sentimental value goes to one spouse, in large part because the other spouse does not want it. Likewise, spouses will usually keep the car they drive the most. Others, like the family home or an investment portfolio, may require a professional appraisal and may need to be sold or otherwise managed after the divorce is finalized. 

Whether a couple or a judge makes the final decisions about how to divide a marital estate, the law says that the division must be “just and right.” This does not necessarily mean each spouse will get exactly 50 percent of each asset’s value, but the final decree cannot be grossly unfair to either spouse. 

Contact a Fort Worth, TX Divorce Lawyer

Dividing your belongings with your spouse can be a complicated process, but with the help of a Fort Worth, TX divorce attorney, it is possible. Contact Hatton & Hatton, PLLC today at 817-349-8120 to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you protect your property rights in divorce. 




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