We Pursue A Fair And Equitable Distribution Of Marital Assets And Debt
In a divorce, you are dividing one household into two separate households. This is not an easy nor fair process. It can be the cause of intense concern: Which possessions will be yours, and which will not? What will be the base from which you essentially “start over”?
While no one really wins when it comes to a divorce, there are ways to ensure that you have what you need to start over and move forward with your life. We can help. At Law Office of Diane St. Yves, PLLC, we pull from our decades of Texas family law experience to provide the guidance, information and support you need to start from a solid foundation.
The Difference Between Community And Separate Property
In a divorce decree, the separating couple’s property and debt have to be addressed, and they are typically categorized as either “community property,” “separate property” or “mixed character property.”
What Determines Separate Property
Separate property is just as the name implies: owned by one person. The court cannot divest an individual of their separate property; however, it is the burden of the party asserting that their property is separate to prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that the property is separate.
Typically, separate property in Texas includes:
- Items that a person had before they got married
- Items that were inherited or were given to a person in a will
- Items that one person received as a gift
- Monetary compensation that came from a personal injury lawsuit, which does not usually include compensation that is to provide for lost wages
Separate means that the property was not part of the marriage. In some cases, things that were purchased during the marriage but that were understood to be owned by one person fall into this category.
How Community Property Is Determined
Community property is property acquired or created during the marriage by either spouse. Most of what a married couple has is owned by both people. In fact, the court assumes that the property is community property unless one person can show that something belongs to them alone. It’s not always clear if an asset (or debt) is community or separate. The court seeks to divide the property in a “just and right” way.
There are factors that the court uses to determine what is just and fair. These factors are different in each marriage but include whether or not both spouses work, who will be giving the majority of care to the children and the size of the estate. If your marriage includes a business or multiple properties that are not liquid, then it is advisable that you work with a family law firm that understands high-asset division including valuation.
Behavior Can Affect Asset Division
The behavior of each spouse during the marriage can affect the way assets are divided during a divorce. If one spouse has been proven to be unfaithful, cruel or violent, or behaving fraudulently, then the court can award more property to the aggrieved spouse.
Expenses can also affect property division. This includes rental property or income-producing assets, taxes and attorney fees. Judges will take into consideration how long a couple was married and what type of property is involved.
As attorneys dedicated to the practice of Texas family law issues, our team understands the importance of how the division of property and debt can affect you. We can help you determine what your property division could be, help you negotiate a fair division of property, or present the evidence to the court to seek a just and right division of the assets.
Work With The Team That Will Pursue And Equitable Division
There are many considerations when dividing property in a Texas divorce. Pursuing a truly equitable solution that takes into consideration all assets and debt is crucial. With decades of experience and a board certification in Texas family law, our firm founder, Diane St. Yves, works along with attorney Ashley Coleman and the staff at Law Office of Diane St. Yves, PLLC to ensure a fair resolution. Get in touch with us by calling our Houston office at 281-816-4258. You can also connect with us via this website’s online contact form.