Georgetown Complex Property Division Lawyer

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There are a number of challenging issues involved in a divorce, but property division can often become the most complicated. While there are clear rules for how the property division should be completed, there is also room for interpretation and tension between the divorcing spouses. It’s critical that those with particularly complex property situations work with a Georgetown complex property division lawyer.

For complex property division issues, the team at the Vaught Law Firm provides some of the most talented, experienced help available. Our lawyers are certified family law attorneys, and we have extensive experience working through the types of challenges that emerge during the property division. We can help you pursue your property division objectives while providing you with compassionate, personalized support.

What Is Complex Property Division?

There are a number of issues that can lead to complex property division. Some of the primary factors are the variety and types of assets involved. In Texas, in particular, there are assets that are not frequently found elsewhere, such as livestock or oil, gas, and mineral rights, which can be complicated to divide. Circumstances where the family or one spouse owns a business can also be some of the most complex. Even retirement accounts can sometimes create unique property division challenges.

Another common factor that creates complicated challenges in the property division process is when separate property and community property have been mixed together. For instance, when one person has used their inheritance to invest in their spouse’s business, that can create complications regarding how to extract or even value the separate property involved.

In some cases, there are even complications that neither party is aware of, or challenges are so unique that they are hard to categorize. That’s why it’s imperative that those with complex or sizable estates work with someone particularly experienced with challenging property division situations.

How Property Is Divided in Texas

Even the basic rules of property division can be complicated and become all the more so when a couple has complex property holdings. This is why the property division process will typically start with both couples disclosing their financial situations, in terms of both assets and debts, so that both sides have a clear picture of what is being dealt with.

In most divorces, the issues involved, including property division, will be decided through the course of a negotiation rather than going to trial. The courts show a preference for this dynamic, and it is often better for both spouses, especially those with complex property situations. Negotiating an agreement gives both parties more opportunity to influence the process than they might have in court, where a judge would be the one to make a decision.

Even when spouses have negotiated an agreement, a judge will still have to review it to ensure that it’s fair and within the parameters of the law. Judges will evaluate the agreements made about property division, which means it’s important that property isn’t divided unfairly.

Categorizing Property

Once the full scope of the property is established, separate property will need to be removed from the pool of community property. This is because only the community property will eventually be divided. The default assumption in Texas is that any property owned by the couple at the time that the divorce is initiated is to be considered community property. In other words, it’s community property until it is proven to be separate property.

Separate property primarily comes from a few different sources. The property that a spouse had prior to the marriage is their separate property. Any inheritance or gifts that they received in the course of the marriage may also be set aside. Additionally, if they received a civil settlement of some kind, that award would also be considered separate property unless a portion was designated to cover lost wages and lost earning capacity.

Identifying separate property can often become complicated when it has become mixed with community property in some way. For instance, one spouse could use their separate property to pay off the debt of the other, or separate property could be invested in a business. While the spouse will deserve some kind of credit for that separate property, it can be difficult to identify.

Dividing the Property

Only the community property is divided in a divorce. It will not need to be divided in an even 50-50 split; rather, a judge will need to identify the division as being “just and right.” The aim is for the division to be seen as fair, given the full scope of the marriage and the other factors involved. It’s critical that this division be done properly, as the outcome of property division could also impact spousal support. Some of the factors the court will consider in deciding what is “just and right” include:

  • The fault behind the divorce
  • The earning prospects of both spouses
  • The education and future employability of both spouses
  • Who has custody of any children involved
  • Tax issues
  • Other considerations believed to be relevant

It may be impossible to split many assets in two, such as a home or a car. If one spouse is awarded this type of property, the other party may be given other assets to even the distribution.

The Vaught Law Firm Helps With Georgetown Complex Property Division

While for many people, an issue like child custody may be a more important element in divorce; it’s not uncommon for property division to become the most time-consuming and draining part of the process. This is especially true when property division is expected to be more complex. However, one of the most effective ways to reduce some of the time and stress involved is by working with a lawyer who has a strong understanding of the issue of property division.

At the Vaught Law Firm, our team of certified family law attorneys has an understanding of property division that can only be gained from a combination of careful study and extensive experience. We’ve seen and found solutions for a wide range of complicated property issues and bring those abilities to each new client’s case. Contact us today for help with your complex property division issues.