When a married couple gets a divorce, how to properly divide property can be a difficult and contentious issue. However, there are several factors to consider that may determine what each party may be entitled to. The first question to answer is whether or not a valid marriage existed. If not, it may be easier to seek an annulment.
If the couple has a prenuptial agreement, it could determine which assets each party may be entitled to. Such agreements may be declared invalid if one of the parties was less than forthcoming with respect to financial disclosure or if it was signed under duress or coercion. If that is the case, then Texas courts will follow community property laws in making a property division determination.
When couples are attempting to negotiate a property settlement, it is important to identify all marital property as well as the value of all property. Additionally, any claim that property should be classified as separate property should be resolved prior to a divorce settlement being finalized. Finally, it is important to determine if a bankruptcy is possible after the divorce. If it is possible, it could cause one spouse to be solely responsible to repay joint debts.
A person contemplating a divorce in which there are assets that require a complex valuation or who has questions as to whether a certain item that was separately owned may have become community property due to commingling may wish to speak with a family law attorney for guidance. Legal counsel can in many cases assist in negotiating a comprehensive settlement agreement that will address these and other applicable issues.