Divorce: Dividing Up Marital Property In Texas
The breakup of a marriage is never an easy process to deal with. There are usually a number of decisions that need to be made and one of those is the division of marital property in Bexar County. Dividing up assets, liabilities and other property in a divorce can be complicated and there are many things that people should keep in mind in order to ensure that they receive a fair portion.
What Is Considered Marital Property?
This sounds like an easy question with an easy answer but the issue of what exactly is marital property can be complicated. If spouses have any of the following items, they could be considered marital property and subject to division:
- Insurance policies
- Retirement benefits
- Employee benefits, including stock options
- Property acquired after the date of marriage, including out-of-state property such as vacation homes.
Even if the property is only under one spouse’s name, it can still be considered marital property if it was acquired after the date of the marriage. If spouses have put their names on property that was accumulated before the marriage, such as the title on a home, then both spouses have an equal claim to the property and are essentially tenants in common, regardless of which spouse originally purchased it.
Once it is determined which assets, physical property, and other items are marital property, then a valuation needs to be conducted in order to understand the value of each item.
It is important to hire an experienced appraiser who can assign each item an accurate value. By using a third-party professional appraiser, it will be difficult for either side to claim the valuation is biased and therefore incorrect.
Property Division Disputes
In some divorce cases, one spouse may try to hide property from the other spouse, especially if the assets and property have significant value. In order to protect your rights to marital property, it is important to hire an experienced family law attorney who can help you establish your claim to the property and put in legal measures that will prevent your spouse from liquidating or hiding marital assets. In some cases a forensic accountant is needed to capture where all the income has gone or been placed in various financial institutions.