League City Property Division Attorney
Fighting for Property Rights of Clients Facing Divorce in the League City, Friendswood and Clear Lake Areas
Before a divorce can be finalized, all property owned by either spouse must be divided by the family court. This is much more than your household possessions. It includes retirement accounts, vehicles, home equity, and many other assets you might not have considered. The outcome of property division can also affect alimony obligations. It is important to work with an experienced divorce attorney who can protect your property rights and financial interests throughout the divorce process.
Separate property is owned by each spouse individually and does not become community property. It includes property owned by each spouse before the marriage, as well as any gifts or inheritances that are made to one of the spouses individually during the marriage. If a spouse receives a personal injury settlement for injuries sustained during the marriage, it can be separate property if it compensates for pain and suffering. (Compensation for lost wages is generally considered community property because the wages earned during the marriage would have been community property.)
Separate property will almost always remain with the spouse to whom it originally belonged. Separate property can, however, be used to settle community property claims. For example: if one spouse wants to keep the marital home, he or she could buy out the other spouse’s equity with separate property.
The Texas Family Code defines community property as any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage (other than separate property). This includes wages earned for work performed or services rendered during the marriage. It also includes work benefits, such as employer contributions to a retirement account. Community property is divided equitably between the spouses at the time of divorce. This usually means that each spouse is entitled to fifty percent of the value of the community assets after all debts have been satisfied.
Of course, many divorcing couples do not wish to liquidate their assets. Many couples are able to negotiate a settlement of their community property. For example, if one spouse wants to keep the house, he or she might give up a stake in the other party’s retirement account, rather than buying out their equity in cash. Such negotiations are common in Texas divorce cases. They reduce the time and expense of litigation, and they also help couples take control over their own assets. A judge will make orders that you might not agree with. By negotiating a settlement of your property division, you know exactly what you are getting.
There are some cases in which community property becomes highly complicated. A common example is a family business owned by both spouses. The business can be sold, and each spouse can take half of the profits from the sale. But if one spouse wants to keep the business, it will have to be valued by a professional, so that he or she can buy out the other spouse’s interest. And when both spouses want to keep the business, they must either agree to continue managing it together (including an allocation of profits and losses) or let the court determine who will keep the business.
An Experienced League City Property Division Attorney for Your Divorce Case
Let attorney Rob Musemeche protect your property rights during divorce. Call 281-475-4145 or contact us online to schedule your consultation with an experienced League City and Friendswood divorce attorney.