Arlington Property Division Attorney
Helping You Divide Your Assets in Divorce
One of the most contentious aspects of a divorce is the division of property. In Texas, property is divided according to the principle of community property, which means that all property acquired during the marriage is considered to be owned equally by both spouses. This includes not only assets but also debts. Property that was owned by one spouse before the marriage is considered to be separate property and is not subject to division.
At the Law Office of Mark M. Childress, we have extensive experience in handling complex property division cases. We can help you understand your rights and options and work to protect your assets and best interests.
What is Property Division?
Property division refers to the process of distributing assets and debts between parties, often occurring during divorce or separation. It aims to fairly allocate the property acquired during the relationship.
Common types of assets involved in property division include:
- Real Estate: This includes the family home, vacation properties, rental properties, and land.
- Financial Assets: Bank accounts, stocks, bonds, retirement accounts (like 401(k)s and IRAs), and investment portfolios fall into this category.
- Personal Property: Furniture, vehicles, jewelry, artwork, electronics, and other personal items are considered in the division.
- Business Interests: Ownership in a business, professional practice, or partnership may need to be assessed and divided.
- Pensions and Benefits: Accrued pension benefits, as well as other employment benefits like stock options, profit-sharing plans, and deferred compensation, might be subject to division.
- Debts: Debts incurred during the marriage, such as mortgages, car loans, credit card debts, and other liabilities, are also divided.
- Spousal Support or Alimony: While not a tangible asset, spousal support may be part of the property division settlement.
Texas Property Division Laws
Texas is a community property state. This means that most property acquired during marriage belongs equally to both spouses, regardless of who earned it or whose name is on the title.
During a divorce, community property is typically divided equally between spouses. This division aims to be fair and just, but it doesn’t always mean a 50/50 split of every asset. The goal is an equitable distribution considering various factors.
Furthermore, debts incurred during the marriage are also considered shared, typically divided equally between spouses, though there might be exceptions based on individual circumstances.
Spouses can reach their property division agreements through mediation or negotiation. However, these agreements should be fair and may still be subject to court review.
The court considers various factors to decide on a fair division of community property. These factors can include:
- Each spouse's earning capacity and economic circumstances.
- Contributions to the marriage (financially, homemaker contributions, childcare, etc.).
- Length of the marriage.
- Health and age of each spouse.
- Custody arrangements for children and their needs.
- Any fault in the marital breakdown (though Texas is a "no-fault" divorce state, fault can still be considered in property division).
Community Property vs. Separate Property
As we mentioned earlier, community property refers to assets and debts acquired or earned during the marriage. This includes income earned by either spouse, purchases made using that income, and debts accumulated during the marriage. Both spouses equally own and have a right to manage community property, regardless of who earned the income or whose name is on the title.
In contrast, separate property includes assets owned or acquired by a spouse before the marriage, as well as certain property acquired during the marriage. This can consist of assets owned before the marriage, gifts received by one spouse, inheritances received individually, and any property explicitly designated as separate through a legal agreement, like a prenuptial agreement. Additionally, property acquired by one spouse through inheritance or gift, even during the marriage, is considered separate property and is not typically subject to division in divorce proceedings.
Keep in mind that separate property can transform into community property under certain circumstances, a process known as "commingling" or "transmutation."
Here are scenarios where separate property might become community property:
- Mixing of Funds: If separate property funds are mixed with marital funds in a joint account and can't be distinctly traced, they might be considered community property. For instance, if one spouse had a savings account before marriage and then used it for household expenses during the marriage, it might lose its separate property status.
- Intermingling Assets: If separate property, such as a house owned before marriage, gets titled jointly or undergoes changes that involve both spouses contributing to its maintenance, mortgage payments, or improvements using community funds, it might become partially community property.
- Gifting or Transferring: If one spouse deliberately transfers their separate property to the other spouse or both spouses agree to convert separate property into community property through a legal agreement, it can change its status.
- Failure to Maintain Separation: If a spouse fails to keep their separate property clearly separate by not maintaining separate accounts or records, it might lead to a presumption that the property was intended to be community property.
Why Choose Us?
The Law Office Of Mark M. Childress, including our Arlington property division attorneys, plays a vital role in guiding clients through the complexities of property division in divorces. Here's how we can assist:
- Legal Expertise and Strategy: We provide in-depth knowledge of Texas property division laws. We assess each client’s situation, including their assets, debts, and unique circumstances, to strategize the best approach for property division.
- Asset Evaluation: Our attorneys assist in valuing and categorizing assets as community or separate property. We work to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the marital estate to facilitate a fair division.
- Protecting Your Rights: We advocate for our clients’ rights, ensuring that their interests are represented throughout the property division process. We work to safeguard our clients' claims to their separate property.
- Negotiation and Mediation: Our attorneys aim to settle property division matters through negotiation or mediation, striving for agreements that are fair and acceptable to our clients. We work towards amicable solutions whenever possible.
- Court Representation: In cases where disputes cannot be resolved outside of court, we provide strong representation in litigation. We present compelling arguments and evidence to support our clients' positions before the court.
- Customized Approach: Understanding that each case is unique, we offer personalized strategies tailored to your specific needs and objectives. We provide guidance and support based on the individual circumstances of each client.
- Emotional Support and Guidance: Divorce and property division can be emotionally challenging. Our team offers compassionate support, helping clients navigate the legal process while providing clarity and understanding.
- Post-Divorce Assistance: Beyond the divorce proceedings, we assist in executing property division orders and ensuring compliance with court decisions, offering ongoing support post-divorce.
Our goal is to empower our clients through legal expertise, personalized guidance, and dedicated advocacy. We strive to achieve fair and equitable property divisions while protecting your rights and interests during challenging times.
My questions were heard and answered without having to ask twice.
“Value a capable team with experienced staff. For the past 9 months, the folks at the Law Offices of Mark Childress handled my case with class and empathy. My questions were heard and answered without having to ask twice. I felt like I was kept in the loop and always briefed properly. As I move forward with other ventures I wouldn't be surprised if we crossed paths again. And hats off to Konner, THANK YOU!”
Mark was there to answer every question, every phone call and did it in a way that I felt as if I were his only client.
“I needed an attorney who would stand up for me and my child during a very hard time. Mark was there to answer every question, every phone call and did it in a way that I felt as if I were his only client. He was very knowledgeable not only about the law but about the opposing attorney and the judge. He prepared me well and we won our case. I would recommend Mark Childress to anyone who is fighting for custody or in need of child support.”
I highly recommend him and his staff. They are courteous, prompt and they care.
“I called in inquiring about a divorce and how it all happens. I had 2 people call me back within an hour and in an hour maybe 2 I was talking with the lawyer. I highly recommend him and his staff. They are courteous, prompt and they care. Divorce is the hardest thing we will go through minus losing a kid and his team will be retained. He even called me back himself the next day to see how I was. Great service.”
This guy is amazing. In a matter of minutes, he accomplished what no other attorney could in 6 years.
“This guy is amazing. In a matter of minutes, he accomplished what no other attorney could in 6 years. He had my case figured out in 1short conversation and had what he called "a convoluted mess" fixed. I'm pretty sure my ex felt like he'd been hit by a bus. My family is finally in tact and everyone is finally happy.”
Direct Access To Your Attorney
Our Attorneys personally handle each case themselves. You will have direct access to your attorney to be able to get the answers that you need.
TransparencyHonesty and transparency are critical in building trust with your attorney. You will always know what is going on with your case every step of the way.
At our firm you're not just a case number, our staff will always know the status of your case and help to make your situation more manageable.
Personalized ApproachOur team understands that no two cases are the same. Your strategy will be tailored specifically to you and your family's goals.