One of the most important things you can do before or during a Texas divorce is to get a full understanding of you and your spouse’s financial status. While the process of evaluating spousal support and property division can be complicated, our Houston divorce law firm has the experience and knowledge in how to handle valuation issues of businesses, properties, licenses, and investment holdings. We will conduct a detailed search to find them, even if any assets may be hidden.
Property Division Attorney in Houston
In property division for divorcing couples, Texas is an equitable distribution state. Under equitable distribution, a court is required to do what is fair (or equitable) in relation to each spouse’s assets and liabilities.
The starting point of equitable distribution is a 50-50 division split. Courts will then look at the financial situation each spouse will be in following the divorce. Although equitable distribution is more flexible, it is harder to predict the actual outcome since the factors are considered subjectively. Factors considered regarding equitable distribution include:
- Length of marriage
- Origination of funds or assets (original source)
- Family gifts
- Other sources of income such as rental properties or stock dividends
When courts handle distribution of property, they first consider parenting time, followed by equitable distribution, then alimony and then child support, with all determinations based first upon need and then upon the ability to pay.
An experienced family law lawyer can help you navigate this system. Attorney Clint Chase is an attorney with years of family law experience. We provide each client with personal service and someone to talk to at all phases of the divorce process.
Houston Marital Property Division Attorneys
Property division in Houston can be one of the most heated matters related to divorce. No matter what the duration of the marriage is, it is essential that property is split up reasonably. The attorneys at our law firm have got comprehensive working experience in working with difficult divorce and property division problems.
Marital and Non-Marital Property Houston
It is essential for virtually any couple going through a divorce to learn the main difference between marital and non-marital property:
Marital property – Whatever property a spouse or couple acquires in the course of a marriage is deemed as marital property. According to these rules, marriage will begin on the day of the wedding.
Non-marital property – Non-marital property is deemed as any property somebody received previous to marriage, and also then taken into the marriage.
There are certain exceptions to both marital and non-marital property. As an example, gifts or inheritances might be classified as part of one spouse’s estate and not the other’s. Furthermore, some non-marital property could be converted into the marital property in the marriage or during the divorce. Our attorneys can make clear how Houston marital and non-marital property laws apply to your divorce.
Property to Divide
Separating property during a divorce may be difficult. In some instances, one spouse could have hidden assets. Each time a spouse is self-employed, for example, it may be harder to separate property in Houston. Our lawyers will help clients in even the most complex marital property problems.
We can help clients in managing Houston asset and debt division, along with the appropriate appraisal and allocation of the following forms of property:
- Bank accounts
- Retirement funds
- Other financial assets (IRAs, stocks, bonds, etc.)
- Worker’s compensation awards
- Personal injury awards
- Medical malpractice awards
To plan a free appointment with one of our seasoned property division attorneys, contact us today.
Houston Community Property Lawyer
Splitting up community property in Houston in the course of the marriage dissolution process would seem to be simple. All property, assets, and debts obtained throughout a marriage (with some exceptions) are supposed to be split up equally between the spouses. In real practice, however, separating community property becomes a very complex endeavor.
Figuring out what is community property, valuing it and dividing it reasonably requires a seasoned Houston community property lawyer. Our firm has been advising and helping clients in divorce and community property Houston cases for years, which includes a lot of complex property division legal cases.
Phone for a consultation right away. A Houston community property lawyer at our firm can evaluate your circumstances and talk about areas of possible concern. Our aim in every court case is to defend our own client’s rights and interests.
Obtaining a Fair Houston Property Division Settlement
In trying to obtain a fair division of property, our firm meticulously examines every aspect of the matter. We’ll methodically evaluate the origins, transformations, and valuations of the properties involved. In obtaining a fair property division arrangement, there are five key point areas of inquiry:
- Characterization of Property determining what is separate and what is marital property.
- Transmutation is tracing how separate property was transformed into community property.
- Valuation valuing financial assets, debts, real property and also possessions.
Division Problems aiding with fairness problems and practical considerations regarding the division of property, such as what to do about the house. In particular, there are genuinely tricky problems about refinancing of the family home, especially when the separate property has been given either as the down payment or to pay down the mortgage payment. The opposite may also be troubling whenever a separate property residence is refinanced by the community or maybe when the community pays off the original separate property mortgage payment. Pricey litigation can occur unless you consult a lawyer specializing in this area of law, as we do, at the earliest opportunity, preferably when contemplating the alteration in ownership or refinancing of real property.
Tax Planning lessens the effect of taxes. On top of that, a Pension Plan Survivor Benefit may not be entirely granted to one spouse when the result could be an unequal distribution of the community interest in the pension.
Your situation offers specific features that require knowledgeable and well-informed help. The lawyers at our firm possess comprehensive, practical knowledge with these and almost all other aspects of property division. We will work to obtain a fair and reasonable resolution of all property division issues while defending your rights over the process.
Complex Division of Houston Marital Property
There are many reasons why divorcing spouses might believe it is difficult to deal with Houston property division cases. Often enough, the principal reason is that there may be quite a great deal of property to fight over. Some other ideas may include determining particular assets as marital property, valuation problems for closely held or family business assets, or the enforcement of the conditions of a premarital agreement.
Whatever the details of your property division problem, the lawyers of our firm can counsel you of your legal rights while going after a practical resolution of the cases through negotiation whenever possible or litigation when necessary. Contact our divorce lawyers for a zero cost first consultation about your choices.
Dividing Houston Marital Assets
Property acquired or assets earned over the course of a marriage are susceptible to division. Although it is not a complete list, these are subject to division if gained after marriage:
- Equity in a home
- Proceeds or earnings from a business
- Retirement funds
- Money coming from an inheritance
- Stocks, bonds, investments
- Real estate property
What the Court considers in Dividing Marital Property in Houston
For equitable distribution jurisdiction, some states grant its family court judges broad discretion in separating marital property between divorcing spouses. The aim is not to accomplish an equal division of property between the parties, but to divide the assets and liabilities of the marriage fairly between them in light of a lot of factors:
- the contributions of each spouse to the marital estate
- the contributions of each for child care and housekeeping
- the means of each to live in comfort on his or her income, and also other considerations.
Determining Houston Marital Assets and Property Subject to Division
We work with you to establish a good sense of your aims and concerns regarding the property division procedure, and we can certainly help secure your interests while discovery and discussions are ongoing. Our lawyers will take a look at the spouse’s financial statements and make sure that all assets and income are correctly shared. If your spouse is the active principle in a family business, we could take the appropriate steps to make sure that the profits are protected and those operations will not be manipulated to depress asset values. If needed, we can also use private investigators or forensic accountants to find and identify hidden assets or fraudulently transferred property.
In military divorces, we could appraise your rights not merely concerning pensions, but also the very significant benefits available in long-term military marriages under the Former Spouse Protection Act (FSPA).
Very often, it is best to think about Houston complex property division issues associated with the resolution of spousal support claims. From a tax perspective, it will often make sense to make concessions on property division in return for a better alimony settlement or vice versa, according to your specific circumstance.
Whether your property division concerns involve investment properties and stock options, the valuation of family business assets or even the recovery of your payments on your spouse’s old student loans, our thorough familiarity with Houston divorce law can undoubtedly help protect and advance your interests. Contact us for a no-cost first consultation regarding your property division concerns.