Fort Worth Property Division Attorneys
How Property is Divided in Texas
If you have no children, property division may be the single most important issue in your divorce. When people work throughout the course of their marriage to earn a living and acquire property, it is understandable that the idea of losing assets or taking a step back can be troubling.
How can you protect your property and ensure that your quality of life does not suffer after your divorce? A knowledgeable Fort Worth property division lawyer at the Law Offices of Mark M. Childress, PLLC can walk you through all your options and prepare you for what lies ahead.
To arrange your consultation, call us today at (817) 497-8148.
What Does Community Property Mean for You?
Texas is a community property state, this means that most assets and debts acquired by a married couple is considered to belong to both parties. It is easy to fall into the false assumption that you can count on receiving exactly 50% of the real property and financial assets. While an ideal, textbook situation would result in a fair and equitable division as that is the standard, there are times when a court will rule in favor of deviating from that standard.
For instance, if one spouse has a higher income than the other, the lower income party may receive a higher percentage of the assets. Or, if one party ends up paying child support to the other, the paying party may receive more marital assets.
At the Law Offices of Mark M. Childress, PLLC, we focus on understanding the unique needs and goals of our clients so that we can pursue an outcome that best fits their situation. Your goals will be our goals as we advocate for your rights.
We can assist you with:
- Retirement considerations
- Division of debt
- Protecting your assets
Whether you have complex business assets or own a professional practice, we have the knowledge and resources necessary to achieve a positive outcome. Where necessary, we work with experts such as financial planners, accountants, and tax specialists to maximize the property our clients receive.
In a Texas divorce, the couple's debts will be divided along with their marital property. Marital debt in general includes only those obligations that were acquired by one or both partners during the marriage, and not any debt that was owed by either partner prior to the marriage. The type of debt that is owed by spouses can affect how a court is likely to determine the division.
Credit card debts are typically split depending on whether accounts are single or joint. If both names appear on the account, both parties will be expected to pay off the debt subsequent to divorce, while each party is likely to take debt in his or her name. If the spouses have a mortgage as part of the marital property, the house can be sold and the remaining proceeds divided up between them. Another option is for one spouse to "buy out" the other one by paying that spouse his or her share of equity and taking over the payments.
Medical debts are divided up differently depending on whether or not the divorce occurs in a community property state. Texas is a community property state, meaning that these types of marital debts are likely to be split 50/50, regardless of which spouse acquired them. Courts in other states tend to look at equitable principles, such as whether the couple was living together at the time the debt was acquired.
For a person going through a divorce, a family law attorney may be able to help by negotiating a comprehensive settlement agreement that can include property and debt division provisions along with other issues. It can often be best to settle the case outside of court, because a judge may come to a decision that neither party is happy with.
Gifts and Inheritances
One question that may arise is whether inheritances and gifts go to one spouse or are split between both spouses. Texas is a community property state, but this does not mean that an inheritance is automatically divided 50/50 between spouses. In fact, inheritances and gifts are considered to be separate property as opposed to marital property.
However, property division of inheritances and gifts may still occur if the assets have been mingled with the rest of the marital assets. In other words, if an individual received an inheritance and deposited it in a bank account jointly owned by both spouses, the inheritance might be split between the two.
Gifts from friends and relatives may cause some problems. Sometimes, there will be disputes about whether the gift is actually a gift or whether it is a loan. Any significant gifts or loans that are given during a marriage should be accompanied by simple paperwork that specifies whether the money is a gift or loan and the terms of the loan.
If an individual getting a divorce had recently inherited a home and the home was in that individual's name, it would probably not be considered marital property. However, the couple might also have some money given to them for a down payment on a house. That money may have been placed in the joint account, and in such a case, that money might be considered marital property even if one of the spouses claims that it was an unused loan.
An attorney can be helpful in ensuring that assets are divided fairly and in helping to protect an individual's assets during a divorce. An individual who would like to protect their assets may wish to discuss with a lawyer how to best keep them separate.
Business people, professionals, and individuals with complex assets have a lot to lose in a divorce. Working with a knowledgeable Fort Worth property division lawyer who understands your portfolio can provide you with peace of mind and be a critical factor in protecting everything you have worked so hard for.
At the Law Offices of Mark M. Childress, PLLC, we believe the best way to protect your assets in a divorce is to have a comprehensive plan. We will closely work with you to understand your goals and take action to maximize your share of the marital estate.
Many considerations need to be made when dividing a complex marital estate, especially those involving assets such as:
- Professional practices
- Retirement plans
- Investment properties
- Vacation homes
- Commercial property
Failing to properly address these assets in the course of a divorce can result in an unequal division of property or cause future issues due to the tax consequences of the property settlement.
One of the primary reasons people spend their lives working is to ensure a comfortable retirement. This is often a shared goal between spouses as they work to build a high quality of life together. But what happens to those retirement dreams when a couple decides to divorce? If divorce is on the horizon, it is crucial to speak to a knowledgeable family law attorney about your situation.
At the Law Offices of Mark M. Childress, PLLC, we assist men and women in Fort Worth and surrounding Texas communities who wish to preserve their dream of retirement. We combine tremendous knowledge and resources with a unique brand of attentive service that truly sets us apart. Our team will not rest until we achieve a result that maximizes your post-divorce retirement assets.
From working with financial experts to make sure your retirement assets are properly valued to finding creative solutions that reflect your unique goals, we will go the extra mile to make sure you enter the post-divorce phase of your life with confidence.
Our lawyers have experience resolving issues involving a wide variety of retirement assets, including:
- 401(k) accounts
Whether you have been the sole contributor to these accounts, or you are a spouse who has worked in the home and want to make sure your marital contribution is recognized, we are the firm for you. Our scope of service extends to Tarrant, Parker, Johnson, Wise, Hood, Denton, Somervell, and Jack Counties.
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.
Honesty 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.
Our team understands that no two cases are the same. Your strategy will be tailored specifically to you and your family's goals.