At the time of your divorce, you and your spouse have a choice to divide the marital and separate property by mutual agreement that may be approved by the court. Should you fail to do so mutually, the court will divide your property in an equitable manner. You should have a skilled Austin divorce attorney by your side to ensure your interests are fully protected in a property division.
Most of the property that was acquired during the course of marriage belongs to both of you as per law, considering that Texas is a community property state. However, each party will get to retain their separate property (acquired prior to marriage) during a divorce.
What is Equitable Property Division?
Under Texas law, the court will divide the property in a manner that is “just and right.” In other words, the property division will be equitable, and not equal. The court might consider a number of factors while determining which party should get how much as part of an “equitable” division.
Factors such as the income disparity between the two parties, the health status of each party, who is getting child custody, and the future employability of both parties may be considered while determining the division of marital property.
Division of Employment Benefits and Pension of Spouse
Interest accumulated in a retirement plan, pension, profit sharing or another type of employee benefit plan during the course of marriage by either spouse will be considered as community property in a Texas divorce and will be divided equitably.
If the court decides to award a part of your retirement benefits to the other party, the lawyers will prepare a QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) to be delivered to your employer. In accordance with this court order, the employer will distribute the benefits to both parties. Your Austin divorce lawyer will guide you about this complex division, and make sure that you are not being dealt an unfair decision.
Division of Business Assets or Professional Practice
To the extent that you have developed your business enterprise or professional practice during the course of your marriage, it will be treated as community property and will be subject to equitable division.
If you have been solely running your business or practice without the active involvement of your spouse, chances are that the court may allow you to keep the business or practice, as long as the other spouse receives other assets or cash as his or her equitable share in the business or practice assets.
Valuation of the business or practice is usually done with the assistance of a CPA and a business appraiser, and your Texas divorce lawyer will play a key role to see that a fair appraisal is done.
Division of the House
One of the key issues in property division may be to determine which party should keep the family home. If your divorce involves children, the court may allow the parent who has the primary custody of the child to retain the family home.
If only one party has been living in the house that party may purchase the home equity of the other party. In addition, the party that gets to keep the home will have to release the other party from the mortgage.
Get a Partner Who Cares With Austin Divorce Attorney Eric M. Willie, P.C.
At the Law Office of Willie & Dasher, we are proud to have thousands of satisfied clients, many of whom are repeat clients and we are constantly receiving referrals from them. We value our clients’ trust more than anything else, and we will fight to protect your rights with total focus and commitment of our legal team. To request a consultation, call 512-478-0834 or complete our online contact form.