You've worked hard to achieve what you've done. As a result, you've been successful in your career, or perhaps you've built your own profitable business. Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, your marriage may be coming to a premature end.
The evidence of your dedication is all around you: your home, your cars and your bank accounts. What happens to all of that after a divorce? What do you stand to lose to your soon-to-be former spouse? A better understanding of marital property in Texas may shed some light on the answers.
Differentiating between separate and marital property
Everything you own is your property. That means your house, your land, furniture, jewelry, and even your business, your pensions, and your investments. All of your property is divisible into one of two categories: separate or marital.
Your marital property (also called community property) is everything either you or your spouse acquired during your marriage. Community property is subject to division, and separate property is not.
Separate property is anything either of you owned before the marriage, plus anything that can be proven to fall into one of the following categories by clear and convincing evidence:
- Gifts given to one person
- Some personal injury awards
The increase in value of separate property may also be separate property, assuming your spouse did not significantly contribute to the increase. Separate money deposited into a marital account tends to become co-mingled. Once something has been co-mingled, it is effectively indistinguishable from community property, and will be included in division of your property in the divorce.
Managing the split
While separate property is the owner's to keep, community property is generally divided equally in the absence of a proven fault-ground for divorce. It therefore becomes very important to understand the value of your assets, and to be able to distinguish separate assets from marital assets. Even the most astute businesspeople may wish to have professional guidance during the process of valuation and division of their assets.
Life continues after a divorce, and though it won't be quite the same, it doesn't have to be unrecognizable. You may choose to exercise your right to protect your hard-earned assets and continue to enjoy the fruits of your labor. To do so effectively may require the assistance of a skilled Board-Certified Expert Family lawyer.
Choosing a lawyer who has considerable experience with high asset divorces in Texas should increase your odds of maintaining your lifestyle. A Board-Certified Expert Family lawyer with the knowledge and tenacity to defend your property as the law allows may be the right person to have standing beside you during this fight.