Protecting your property
Whether it is a new car or a new business, generally all property you acquire during marriage is community property. And when you divorce, this community property needs to be divided. We are here to help you assess what is due to you.
You might expect that, when you divorce, all marital property will be divided equally. However, depending on their case, a couple – or a court – might decide one party is due a greater or lesser portion of the property. As this can have a long-term effect on your finances, it’s important to make sure you receive everything that you have a right to.
PROVIDING SUPPORT TO TEXANS FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS
A couple that has been married and built a life together for any amount of years is likely to have acquired a mixture of different kinds of assets and debts during that time. Rarely is such property easily convertible to liquid or near-liquid form.
To the contrary, in most cases, the higher the net worth of the family, the more likely it is that holdings are tied up in things such as business ownership, real estate, trusts, investment portfolios, retirement funds, pensions and other vehicles that are difficult to value, liquidate, and divide equitably.
In instances like these, spouses can find themselves having fundamental disagreements not only over who is entitled to what, but also how to actually go about the process of dividing the various assets that they have accumulated.
Since 1987, our divorce lawyers have represented clients with complex property division issues throughout Texas. We help clients navigate their way through such areas as:
- Pension plans and retirement accounts
- Stock options and restricted stocks
- Business valuation matters
- Characterizing assets
- Marriage debt
- Real property
- Deferred compensation plans
- Intellectual property
- Treatment of trusts in divorce
- Tracing hidden or undeclared assets
- Wasting of community assets
- Reimbursement for the use of one estate to benefit another
When necessary, our attorneys consult with forensic accountants, business valuation experts, and other financial consultants to determine which assets are considered community property, the effect of capital appreciation and income growth of previously-held assets over the course of the marriage, and the fair market value of assets. This is an important step in the property division process because an inaccurate estimate can prove to be a costly mistake down the road. Contact GoransonBain Ausley for help when you have complex property issues.
About Property Division in Texas
Texas is considered a community property state. Property acquired before marriage or property gifted or inherited during the marriage to one spouse is the separate property of that spouse and the asset remains with that spouse. According to state law, property includes not only real estate but also other kinds of assets, including the following:
- Gifts and inheritances
- Unique items
- Boats, cars, jet skis and other recreational vehicles
- Brokerage accounts
- Financial accounts
- Intellectual property
- Family businesses
- Trust assets
- Partnership interests
- Stock in closely held corporate entities
- Retirement accounts
- Life Insurance policies
- Personal belongings
If you have a prenuptial or premarital agreement, the decision about how to divide your mutually earned assets might already be determined. If this is the case, you will need to review the document with legal counsel to determine whether the agreement is valid.
A prenuptial agreement is helpful, but the paperwork in no way exempts you from any responsibilities associated with the divorce proceedings. It is important to review the agreement as well as an updated list of your assets, taking into consideration they may have grown in value since the time your prenuptial agreement was drafted.
Let Our Divorce Lawyers Answer Your Property Division Questions
With over 30 years of experience supporting Austin, Dallas and Plano families with complex property divisions, GoransonBain Ausley lawyers can help you assess what counts as marital property and how it should be divided. We can work with you to characterize your property so that you have a clear picture of what’s included in your marital estate.
Contact us for in-depth advice and legal support around property division and characterization.