As one of the nine states with community property jurisdiction, Texas views all the property you acquired during the marriage as joint property. A court with community property jurisdiction will divide your community property equally. It is different from other states that opt for an equitable division of assets. Equal is not always fair and just, especially when you have high-value assets on the line. You should see how you can protect the assets that are valuable to you.
Identifying your community and separate property
Community property does not include the property you acquired before marriage. Any property or asset you received via inheritance or as a gift is also separate property. You should create a comprehensive inventory of all the properties you and your spouse own and separate them accordingly. Identify what property belongs solely to you and your spouse. A high-asset divorce may include the following:
- Multiple bank accounts, saving accounts and/or college funds
- Businesses and business equities or proceeds
- Company-owned vehicles and family-use vehicles such as cars, boats or planes
- Personal and real property for sale, lease or rent
- Primary residence
- Vacation homes
- Retirement accounts, individual retirement accounts and 401(k)s
- Investments, stock options, shared investments, money market accounts and mutual funds
- Jewelry, furniture and paintings
If separate property increased in value during your marriage, only the initial value may be separate property. Remember, you have the right to keep what you owned prior to getting married.
Calculating your total net worth
You and your spouse should determine the exact value of each asset, so you know whether you want to maintain ownership or if it is more logical to sell and split the monetary value. Know how much your accounts are worth and assess them alongside your liabilities and debt. Remember to consider the tax implications of preserving ownership of a particular asset.
The length of your marriage may have been a factor on your accumulation of wealth, but you should preserve your wealth. Do not let your emotions control your ability to make logical and sound judgments during your divorce. Your decisions must always ensure financial stability.