Decatur Family Law and Probate Attorney

Common mistakes to avoid when dividing property

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2024 | Divorce

Divorces in Texas involve complex legal issues, and property division is often a challenging aspect. Governed by the community property system, most assets and debts acquired during the marriage belong to both spouses, but they are split fairly and equitably. However, numerous misconceptions and pitfalls can complicate this process.

Assuming all property is community property

Not all assets are community property. Some are separate, belonging to one spouse. These include property owned before marriage, gifts or inheritance during marriage and certain monetary awards. To safeguard separate property, maintain clear records and avoid commingling funds.

Expecting equal division of community property

While equal division is a common assumption, Texas law prioritizes a “just and right” distribution. Factors like fault in the marriage breakup, earning capacity, age and financial obligations are considered. This does not guarantee a 50/50 split, and in fact, if there are fault factors, the eventually split could very well be different.

Overlooking or undervaluing specific types of property

Certain assets might be overlooked or undervalued, leading to an inequitable division. These include retirement assets, business interests, intellectual property, stock options, life insurance policies and collectibles. Seeking professional assistance from financial planners, appraisers or other experts ensures a comprehensive valuation.

Divorce proceedings in Texas demand meticulous attention to property division. Avoiding these common mistakes requires a proactive approach, including maintaining clear records and ensuring a thorough assessment of all assets. By steering clear of these pitfalls, individuals can navigate the complexities of property division more effectively during a divorce.