Divorce Property Division — Yours, Mine, and Ours
Texas is a community property state. This means that anything acquired during the marriage is presumed to be community property. Separate property is property owned before the marriage, property received as a gift, or property acquired through inheritance. The party who claims to have separate property has the burden to prove the separate property. The court does not have the authority to divest a party of his or her separate property, but the court can and will take into consideration the separate property when dividing the community estate.
So if you’ve been married for some time, you have probably accumulated a community estate. Prior to divorce, that estate is not fifty percent the husband’s and fifty percent the wife’s; each spouse has one hundred percent ownership of the community estate. When the court grants a divorce, the court must find a “fair and equitable division” of the community estate. The court takes many factors into account in determining just what constitutes a “fair and equitable division.” Some of these factors are the separate property estates of the parties, the parties’ respective earning capacity, which party gets custody of the children, cause in the break-up of the marriage, the respective health or age of the parties, and wasting of assets of the community.
At Covington & Zand, our divorce property division process for dividing the community estate (and this includes the community debts) involves first gathering information and documentation of the assets and debts in the estate, then consolidating that information into an Inventory and Appraisement. (I&A) Once we have completed the I&A, we create a property division spreadsheet that we use it as a tool in mediation, in collaborative law, and at trial.
Some estates include assets that require an expert to help value. For instance, a business may require a business appraisal, it might be beneficial to get an appraisal on real property, or retirement accounts and pensions may require a present day value from a financial professional. Vonda and Jamie know a number of financial professionals who can help with such matters.
Vonda and Jamie understand the property laws in Texas as they relate to the division of community estates, and they can help you through the divorce property division process of identifying and quantifying your estate and then structuring ways to divide it.
(5 Stars) Forever grateful. I was referred to Vonda during a very difficult custody battle. It was a 4 year battle that eventually resulted in our favor. Vonda provided the guidance and support to myself and family that we needed to get through everything. Thank you all for giving back the peace and calm in our lives.Posted by Shandra on AVVO.com
Covington & Zand, PLLC, is located in the center of Fort Bend County, in Richmond, TX. We’re convenient to Sugar Land and Katy and just a few blocks from the Fort Bend County Courthouse. Call us at 281-762-0578.