Answering 5 FAQs about Property Settlement after Divorce
Separation is always mentally draining for couples. In addition to dealing with the divorce, they also need to ensure their financial security. A divorce battle may involve numerous intricacies, starting from child custody to property division, and comprehending every detail in the stressful situation can be overwhelming. Hiring a family divorce lawyer not only helps you handle the situation, but also assists you in matters related to property division. It however important for couples to have a basic understanding of the laws involved in property settlements. Therefore, to help, in this post we answer five most commonly asked questions about post-divorce property division.
1. How are properties divided during divorce?
As a community property state, Texas has different set of rules to deal with division of property when filing a divorce. The judge, after hearing both the parties, divides a fair division of the property. The property, however, may not be equally divided between the couple. If, for instance, the couple has children, the property may be unequally divided. Various factors justify the unequal property distribution, such as disparity in earnings, different educational background, health and age of the parties, along with the needs of spouse and children.
2. How the length of marriage impacts property division?
The length of marriage - though is often seen as a reason for an unequal division of property - may not play a significant role in most cases. The court’s decision primarily depends on the emotional, physical and financial well-being of the parties. For instance, a middle-aged man with professional experience is likely to find better employment opportunities than a woman of the same age, who has been a homemaker. Similarly, health and emotional factors can also play a role in deciding a person’s earning capability and expenses. Therefore, the judgement is based on the realistic predictions of the future based on a number of factors.
3. What are community and separate properties?
There is a distinction between community and separate property. Any asset owned before marriage, or acquired as a gift or inherited, is categorized as separate property. Although community property can be divided among the parties, separate property can not be divided or awarded to the other party. The court, however, may assume all the properties to be community property and divide them equally. If any one of the party claims something to be separate property, they need to identify the item and prove the claim.
4. Is the marital home included in property division?
No. The judge usually tries to ensure the children get to stay in their home. The parent with the physical custody of the children gets the marital home, if financially feasible. Though the Texas homestead laws are quite strict, issues related to protection of the marital home depends on the claims by creditors and not property allocation.
5. What about division of retirement plans?
Both the parties can present their case for their share in retirement plans. The court, however, holds the right to pass the final decision. Various factors such as income tax, penalties for withdrawal affect the value of a retirement plan, which is the reason why it is important to hire an experienced family divorce lawyer who can help you avoid such issues. The court holds the right to approve an agreement, no matter whether or not it leads to an equal division.
Marital property law in Dallas, Texas can be a complex maze for a common man, which makes it essential for couples to consult and hire a family law attorney. They can advise couples on particular set of facts. If you or someone you know is filing a divorce, you can contact the law firm. You can call us at 214.599.9979 or fill our contact form, and we get back to you.