The division of a community estate is one of the significant portions of any divorce. In Texas, divorce property division rulings, once final, are irreversible. While something as crucial as a child custody order can be modified, the court's decision is final in the case of Texas divorce property division settlements. Although you may feel that nothing could be more important than the children involved in a case — and you are right — the proper handling of the property division is still critical. Having a divorce attorney in Texas familiar with all aspects of property law is a necessity if the division is going to go smoothly.
The division of property is something handled in the final decree, not in the Temporary Orders. Temporary Orders can only deal with the "Temporary Use and Possession" of property. At the time of the final decree, one or the other party is generally divested of all ownership interest in every piece of community property. As for the Separate Property of the parties, the court is theoretically without the jurisdiction (power) to divest a party of their interest in Separate Property.
However, since most divorcing couples prefer a “clean break,” which means no financial involvement with the other party, property division and assets can be a lengthy battle. For this reason, if you own any significant property, it is recommended you retain a divorce attorney. In Texas, divorce property division can encompass accounts and community property.
Community Property And Retirement Accounts
The division of property in any given estate may involve complex concepts of Community Property, Separate Property, Economic Contribution, and Reimbursement, as well as all of the legal concepts that make up the law dealing with Retirement Accounts, Corporations, Partnerships, and Governmental or Military Retirement, to name a few.
The division of pension plans, profit-sharing accounts, stock options, and deferred compensation plans can be very complicated. It is advisable to contact a divorce attorney in Texas who understands these matters before you attempt to do them yourself.
One simple to state (but often mis-stated and misunderstood) concept in virtually all divorces is that of Community Property. Although many believe that each spouse owns half of all community property items, that is not true. At divorce, the court has the power to divide all community property of the estate in whatever manner it determines to be fair and equitable. That means it’s conceivable that the court could give all of the community property to either spouse, divide it 50/50, 60/40, or any other division that it believes proper.
How To Navigate Divorce Property Division
In Texas, divorce property division can be a tricky and confusing proposition. It requires a thorough knowledge of the state laws concerning property, especially community property, and a full understanding of the intricacies of property division. Understanding what the court can do about a property if a settlement is not reached, not to mention predicting the likely boundaries of what the court will do, are two of the reasons that attempting to handle the property division in a divorce without the help of competent legal counsel is extremely risky and potentially very costly.
The value of a divorce attorney experienced in Texas divorce property division cannot be overemphasized. There are many ways in which a divorce attorney can aid you in protecting your rights and interests. Some of these include:
Preparation of all necessary documents,
Filing and responding to pleadings,
Advising on the best course of action.
In addition, the attorney can represent you throughout negotiations and during trials when your interests require such representation. In Texas, divorce property division of significant assets can be a complex matter, so seek appropriate legal counsel to navigate this often tricky situation.