When you determine that your marital relationship is not working, you have numerous options about how to address the problem. Some Texas couples seek counseling and are able to restore their marriages. Perhaps you already went that route, and it didn’t resolve the issues. Instead, you’ve decided to file for divorce but are concerned about how to make sure you’ll achieve a fair settlement.
Texas is one of nine states that operates under community property rules in divorce. This means that you and your spouse will split all assets that you acquired during marriage as close to 50/50 as possible. In order to avoid stress, as well as an uneven division of property, you’ll want to keep several things in mind.
Agree to adhere to property division regulations
While a particular asset, such as a vehicle or your home, may be of great importance to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll wind up with it in a divorce. To avoid serious legal problems, you and your ex must agree to adhere to all property division regulations. In short, it means that you will be honest and fair.
In order for the court to determine how to split assets equally, the court must first know what assets you and your spouse jointly own. Full disclosure is necessary. If your spouse tries to beat the system by not disclosing certain assets, you can take legal steps to immediately bring the issue to the court’s attention. Hiding assets in divorce is illegal.
What property do you separately own?
Part of full disclosure is acknowledging whether there are any assets that you and your spouse don’t share ownership of, such as an inheritance that you received or property you acquired before you got married or after you legally separated. If you owned a business before you wed, it might qualify as separately owned property, depending on whether assets were co-mingled after marriage.
In a community property state, the judge overseeing your case is going to be impartial. He or she will make decisions based on state laws, not on how you want to split assets with your ex. In some cases, you may be able to trade assets of equal value.
Preparing for property division proceedings
The more you learn about Texas property division laws ahead of time, the better. It’s also helpful to organize all pertinent documents, including banking information, tax records and other data. The only way you can know if you are getting a fair settlement is if you’re knowledgeable about the state of your finances and marital property before proceedings begin.
In some marriages, one spouse handles all financial issues while the other doesn’t really pay any attention to such things. If that is a synopsis of how it was in your marriage, you’ll definitely want to update yourself on financial information so that you can make informed decisions and recognize whether you’re getting a fair settlement in court.