Community Property

community property
Marriage makes two individuals become one. During the whole period of marriage, couples acquire properties which most of the time are jointly owned. Problems may arise when a couple decides to get divorced. Division of a marital home could get difficult. Separation of assets might lead into conflict and we might not properly exercise our rights over our properties if we do not know the laws that govern it. To understand better the context of property relations between the husband and wife in Texas, let us have an overview of the governing laws in marriage and properties. The State of Texas follow a community property in marriage where most of the property acquired, that was not received as an individual gift or inheritance, during marriage belongs to both spouses. Texas family law defines community property as the property and debt acquired from the moment of the marriage until the time of the termination of the marriage. This can be divided in the event of divorce. An asset can be free from division when one of the spouses shall prove by clear and convincing evidence that the asset is his or her separate property. Any property acquired before the marriage, called the separate property, shall stay with the person who acquired it. Texas law provides that if you and your spouse have purchased a house after being married, it is presumed that the house is your community property. Both of you shall have the same rights for the said house. On the other hand, a piece of land that you have inherited from your parents becomes your separate property and shall be awarded to you upon divorcing your spouse. In addition, things that you have bought before being married shall have your full rights.  So, how do we divide a marital […]

How to Divide a Marital Home in a Texas Divorce   Recently updated !

There are a lot of things that you might be sure of right now, but one thing you will never be able to prepare for what to do during or after a divorce. It’s not only the emotional toll that would weigh on you after deciding to go through divorce – you have to think about your children, your properties and assets, how to tell your families, etc. There are so many things that you have to do, all while with a heavy heart. You can’t expect everything to just fall into place, you have to work through it all to get where you want to be.  IRAs Let’s focus on the part where you divide properties and assets, or to be more specific, the IRAs. Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are investments to prepare you for the future. It can be classified into two:  Traditional IRA – wherein you deposit a part of your income into the plan tax-free up until the time you will be encashing it in the future. Only then would the future tax rate be subtracted from your total investments. ROTH IRA – on the other hand, allows your investments to be taxed annually before being settled in your account so that when you encash it in the future, there would no longer be taxations because your money already went through it before. If you anticipate that tax rates will be higher in the future, then it is better to opt for a ROTH IRA than a traditional one. IRAs and Divorce If you invested in IRAs during your marriage, it would most likely fall on the category of shared assets, which would then be divided equally in court. However, if only one spouse has an IRA, then the transfer of investment would be a little […]

What You Need to Know About IRAs and Your Divorce   Recently updated !

During the course of the marriage, the possibility of not disclosing all one’s asset is likely. The question now is: what happens if a one of the spouses finds out that their ex-spouse failed to disclose assets that were available to them during a divorce and the divorce has already been finalized?  Emotionally, of course the party who found out about the undisclosed assets would be upset and would demand for their share of such undisclosed asset. A suit should be filed regarding this matter to the court that finalized the divorce since the same retained jurisdiction over the matter. The spouse must be able to prove that this undisclosed asset of the other spouse has been existing during the time of their divorce. Otherwise, the request for shares would have to be denied. This is based on the state’s Family Law. Division of property after divorce in Texas If the divorce has already been finalized and one of the ex-spouses wants split up property, they must refer to sections 9.201 and 9.203 of the Texas Family Code. It states that the only property that was existing at the time of the divorce can be split up after both parties and the presiding judge have signed the divorce decree. If a spouse has sold a piece of property or cause the dissolution of such through other means before the divorce is finalized, it must be proved that this spouse has committed fraud in doing this. In Texas, as a requirement in the divorce proceedings and part of the discovery process, both of the spouses have to fill out and submit before the court and to the opposing party a sworn inventory and appraisement of assets. The appraisement is the part where the parties assign dollar values to certain assets to […]

Dealing with Undisclosed Assets in a Texas Divorce   Recently updated !

Divorce Gavel
Many of the divorce cases nowadays are caused by financial issues. It doesn’t come as a surprise when after post-divorce couples fall behind mortgage and face foreclosure. Foreclosure is enough of a headache as it is. When it is complicated by issues pertinent to divorce, it can be more difficult to manage. When a couple gets a divorce, it is not an uncommon move to transfer the interest for the house to the other spouse. Usually, they do this thinking that this will place the responsibility for the mortgage completely on the other spouse. However, it just doesn’t work that way. When the mortgage is originally listed under both names, both spouses are responsible in making sure the mortgage gets paid. Even if you transfer the property to your ex, the bank won’t care about that. All the bank cares about is getting the mortgage paid off. Transferring the house to your spouse might even become a bigger financial burden. If your ex would let the mortgage go unpaid after the transfer, and it won’t be just his/her credit that would be affected, but yours as well. There is even a possibility that you would face a deficiency judgement. A deficiency judgement will order you to pay the difference between the mortgage you owe and the price the house was sold at foreclosure. It is now common to face foreclosure after a divorce even for a home you don’t own or live in. Divorce is not the only step you need to take to get rid of financial burdens and responsibility associated with the mortgage. Solution for a Happy Ever after It might be a challenge but both spouses will have to work together to avoid a financial disaster and foreclosure. There are various options available to keep this financial […]

Divorcing Your Mortgage   Recently updated !

split home e1384011019716 2
One thing is for certain, if you want to avoid the complications from issues associated with community property, you need to know more about it. When you have ample knowledge of how it works and how to manage it properly, you’d be able to avoid the nasty complications of community property issues. If you are thinking of or in the process of getting a divorce, you might have come across ‘community property.’ These two words can play a huge role in your divorce but you may not know it quite well yet. A lot of questions should be on your mind when you cross paths with community property for the first time. For example, questions like: “How should I know which ones are community property and which aren’t?” “Is everything in the house considered as community property?” “Is it possible to have properties with you as the sole owner?” Separate Property and Community Property When you are asking about stuff that you can call ‘yours alone,’ you can refer to that as separate property. Basically, according to the Texas Family Code, separate property are things that are owned by one spouse before the marriage. It can also be a property that one spouse received as a gift or inheritance during the course of the marriage, and recovery of personal losses and injuries. It might sound so complicated so we’ll make it simpler for you. Anything you own before you got married, any gifts or any property or money you acquired from a lawsuit is separate property – meaning, it’s totally yours. Your spouse will not have any rights to such properties in the event that you decide to go for a divorce. Now that you know what separate property is, understanding community property is much easier. Community property refers to […]

How to Effectively Guard Yourself Against Community Property Issues   Recently updated !

dividing retirement plan
If you and your partner has come to an unlikely divorce, division of properties, assets, and other possessions might be something you have to talk about sooner rather than later. Likewise, your communal retirement plans fall under the category of properties that have to be divided between both parties in case of separation or divorce. In light of Texas Law, retirement plans act as an indirect compensation to the spouse, which he or she earned during the course of their marriage. However, it is a case-to-case basis, because there are instances where the retirement plan does not act as shared property. One example would be when a couple lives in a “common law state” for 10 years, then the benefits of the retirement plan would be classified as an individual and separate property of the employee spouse and would not have to be subjected to a “just and right” division under the Texas courts. Of course, there are a number of ways in which you and your partner could divide the retirement plans among yourselves, but here are the most common ways which you could try and consider for your situation. Half-and-half The most simple and common method to split something up – into equal halves. Here, both you and your spouse could walk away after a divorce with equal amounts of the retirement plan. Nobody gets more than the other. However, this would only work if both parties have similar retirement plans, or if one party allows the other to receive a greater share of theirs to reach an equalized division. Go with the flow Another method is to just agree to settle on whatever amount the employee spouse could spare you, especially if it just so happens that the retirement plans could not cater both equally. However, going […]

Different Ways to Divide Your Retirement Plan in Your Divorce   Recently updated !

hidden assets
It is normal to be anxious about many things when thinking about getting a Texas divorce. You may have heard of horror stories about getting a divorce from your friends or acquaintances who have been through it. It’s difficult not to feel anxious when there is a possibility that something unpleasant will suddenly pop up before or after the Texas divorce has been finalized. Your spouse’s hidden assets could be one of these things. It will surely be complicated to deal with it especially when you don’t really know anything about it. The Basics of Hiding Assets in a Texas Divorce  It is not uncommon for one spouse to try to hide some assets during the divorce. This is especially common when a lot of money and properties are involved. A common way to hide assets is to just choose not to announce a certain account or property. If your spouse has an account or property that you don’t know about, chances are, he will keep you uninformed about it. This is of course illegal, but that doesn’t really stop some spouses from hiding away some of their assets. Often, properties that are hidden throughout the marriage only are revealed during the divorce.   There is a process called ‘Discovery’ that your attorney can send to your spouse’s attorney to discover relevant information for the trial as well as in-depth information about your spouse’s finances. You’d be very lucky if you can reveal your spouse’s hidden assets before the divorce is finalized. However, it’s not always possible because your spouse may be successful in hiding away some properties. If your spouse is successful in hiding the assets, then it won’t be included in the property division that is part of your divorce process. The hidden assets will completely belong to your […]

Dealing with Your Spouse’s Hidden Assets in a Texas Divorce   Recently updated !

prenuptial agreement
If you’re someone who’s planning to get married soon, the thought of getting a prenup might have crossed your mind once or twice, but why would you, right?  Prenuptial agreements – legal documents that state how a couple’s assets and possessions will be divided in case of a divorce – aren’t really necessary, especially if you know the law and are satisfied with their terms. But coming up with a prenup doesn’t easily equate to being a non-romantic, it just means that you’re someone who is careful about your future, and takes into account the possibility that all relationships come to an end, even if we didn’t want it to. It’s not bad to plan for the future, especially if you own properties, stocks, have children, or would be spending for the family, such as education. Let me show you what I mean. The Up and Down Sides of a Prenup Let’s start with the upsides: It could help identify who gets what, for example, a business you already have before entering the relationship It can be crafted according to your preference and situation, but of course, it could only cover those that are within the law It could protect you from each other’s individual debts that may pile up before or during the course of your marriage, such as student loans It could save you more time in the future, because negotiations regarding properties would no longer occur given that they are already stated in the prenup  It can help you prepare for the worst possible consequence a divorce could give you based on your own previous experiences However, it also has its downsides: It could make you look like you don’t trust your relationship to last and that you’re open to the possibility of separation or divorce, even […]

Prenuptial Agreements: Why is it more relevant today?   Recently updated !