A major aspect of divorce involves the division of property. As Texas is a community property state, marital assets will be divided equally by a Texas judge if the estranged couple do not otherwise agree. However, it is important to determine what category an asset falls into.
The tree types of assets
Before going into the division of property stage of the divorce, you should understand what types of property your spouse and you have. Separate property includes any property acquired before the marriage as well as inheritances, gifts and financial settlements for damages and pain that are received during the marriage. Marital property includes all assets acquired during the marriage, including any real estate and other property, investments, savings and retirement accounts. Commingled property is more complicated as it refers to property that combines both marital and separate assets, such as using money from an inheritance to buy a property in both spouses’ names.
Dividing the property
Once you decide to get divorced, you and your spouse will negotiate the divorce settlement, including the division of assets. Some of the things you should keep in mind during the negotiations include:
- Identifying separate and marital property clearly
- Understanding the terms of any prenup or postnup agreement signed by you and your spouse
- Dividing commingled assets, which can get very complicated, might require the help of financial experts
- Figuring out the number of commingled assets, since the longer and wealthier the marriage, the more commingled assets there might be
Your goal is to secure a fair divorce settlement that helps you remain financially stable once you are single. Understanding the types of property and how these will be divided is important as you prepare for negotiations.