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Collin County Property Division Attorney

Denton County property division attorney

Divorce Lawyer for Dividing Marital Assets in Plano, TX

Marriage is not just a legal bond between two people, it also means that from that point forward, much of the spouses' property and assets will be tied together. When a marriage ends in divorce in Texas, one of the most important issues to resolve is the division of the couple's community property. If you are going through a divorce, you can better protect your financial interests by making sure you understand how property is divided in a Texas divorce.

Working with an experienced attorney can also help you protect your interests. At the Law Office of Brian Bagley, we have served divorce and family law clients for the past 10 years, and we understand what is at stake when dividing marital property. We take a personal approach to your case, making sure that we understand your unique needs so that we can help you work toward the best possible divorce resolution.

Separate and Community Property in Texas

As you prepare for your divorce, one of the most important things to understand is which of your assets belong to the marital estate, and which are your own, separate property. You will be able to keep any property that you can prove is separate, meaning that you will not have to give up a portion to your spouse. According to Texas law, all of the following are considered a spouse's separate property:

  • Any property that the spouse owned before the marriage
  • Any property that the spouse received during the marriage as a gift or inheritance, whether through a will, trust, or intestate succession
  • Any assets that the spouse received during the marriage as compensation for a personal injury, except for compensation for lost earning capacity

Everything else acquired by you or your spouse during the marriage will likely be considered community property, which means that both of you have an equal interest in it, regardless of which of you acquired it or which of your names is on the title. Community property commonly includes things like your home, vehicles, bank and investment accounts, retirement plans, and even businesses founded or acquired by one of you during the marriage.

In some cases, additional factors can influence each spouse's interest in certain properties. For example, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can define some assets as community or separate property, even if they do not meet the above criteria.

How is Community Property Divided in Texas?

Given that both spouses have an equal interest in community property, Texas family courts will generally prefer a divorce resolution that divides this property between spouses in a roughly equal manner. However, this does not necessarily mean that the value of the marital estate will be divided exactly in half. Instead, the court will require a division that is "just and right" under the circumstances.

Often, the court will allow spouses to negotiate a fair property division agreement on their own. This may be an option for you if you are interested in an uncontested divorce, or if you are attempting to resolve your divorce through mediation. When you negotiate an agreement, you and your spouse have greater control over the details, and you may be more likely to keep important properties intact and in your possession. If the court finds that your agreement is just, it will be approved and become legally binding.

If you cannot reach an agreement on your own, the court will decide what is right and just based on a variety of factors. For example, the court may consider your health, income, and earning power, as well as that of your spouse. Other considerations include the needs of any children that you and your spouse share, the tax implications of dividing certain assets, and either spouse's marital fault or fraud on community property. In addition to fairly dividing community property, the court may order that a spouse is reimbursed for contributions made to the other spouse's separate property.

Contact a Dallas County Asset Division Lawyer

If you need legal representation for the division of property, including in high-asset divorce cases and complex ownership situations, we can help. Contact our office today at 972-422-2424 to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients in Plano, Murphy, Lucas, Parker, Wylie, Sachse, and the surrounding areas in Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County, and Tarrant County.

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