Leander Complex Property Division Lawyer

Home /  Leander Complex Property Division Lawyer

When you have a particularly unique or complicated estate, property division can often become the most time-consuming and challenging aspect of the divorce. Situations that involve many assets, a wide variety of unique assets, or initially separate property that grew throughout the course of the marriage can be uniquely challenging during the property division portion of the divorce. Those in these situations often benefit from the help of a Leander lawyer experienced in complex property division.

For the most complex of property division cases, the Vaught Law Firm is the right choice. Our team of lawyers is practiced in the field of family law and has experience with difficult, complicated cases. We have unsurpassed knowledge and experience in property division matters and are prepared to face any unique challenges that your situation may pose. We are ready to advocate for your interests and represent you, whether it’s in negotiations for an agreement or before the court.

Property Division in Texas

The process of divorce attempts to disentangle two lives that are entwined by a number of different aspects. One of the most complicated factors is the element of property. Depending on when a couple got married, they may have brought a substantial amount of property into the marriage. Additionally, if a couple was married for a long time, they may have acquired a significant amount of property throughout the course of the marriage. All of this will need to be separated and divided.

The process of property division will often begin with paperwork that involves disclosing the full range of assets and financial elements in both parties’ names. It’s important that this paperwork is comprehensive. If it’s later discovered that anything has not been disclosed, either by accident or intentionally, this is dealt with severely, including reducing the share of property received by the violator. It’s important to work with your lawyer to ensure that your disclosure is complete and delivered by the deadline.

Texas is a community property state. This means that once the whole of the property owned by either spouse or both together is gathered, that property cannot be divided until it has been split into two distinct categories: community property and separate property.

This characterization can often be a source of disagreement, as it is sometimes not always clear what should belong in each pool. While a prenuptial agreement can sometimes be helpful in determining how the property will be divided, there is a possibility that it could even be disputed.

Debt may be considered somewhat community property when it is used for living expenses or to secure property.

Separate Property

If either spouse owned property before the marriage, that property is generally argued to be separate property. There is also the possibility that some property acquired during the marriage could be considered separate property as well. Generally, though, this will need to fall into very specific categories, including:

  • Property that was designated to a spouse as a result of an inheritance
  • Property that was given as a gift from the other spouse or a third party
  • An award from a personal injury claim, unless there was a portion of the award based on loss of earning capacity, which would be considered community property

It’s important to recognize that separate property will need to be proven in the property division process. In Texas, the default assumption is that the property in an estate when a couple is divorcing is community property. The only way for something to be considered separate property is if it can be proven that it should fall into that category.

The process of establishing separate property can become particularly complicated if it has been mixed with community property at some point in the marriage. It is possible that even when the properties have mixed, some credit for the separate property may be distinguished from the common property. However, this can often be challenging to identify.

In cases where one spouse may have taken their inheritance to pay off the marital home, property is relatively identifiable. However, in a situation where one person came into the marriage with a rental property, but community funds were used to make improvements and increase its value, it can be harder to identify what should be considered separate property.

Community Property

The simplest way to think of community property is that it’s the property that was acquired by the couple in the course of their marriage. In practice, though, it’s a bit different because of the default assumption that any property is community property unless it can be proven otherwise. This means that in a divorce, community property will be the property that remains after the separate property has been established.

Dividing the Property

The criteria for how property should be divided in Texas is that the division must be “just and right.” This means that the property division must be recognized by the courts to be fair, given all of the factors involved in the situation. This does not mean that the property will need to be divided in an even 50/50 split. Depending on the situation, one spouse may receive significantly more property than the other.

In deciding how the property should be divided, the courts will consider a number of different elements in determining what can be considered to be “just and right.” Some of these considerations include:

  • Who is at fault for the marriage ending. Even if the divorce is being filed as “no-fault,” the courts may still consider if there were issues that led to the divorce, such as adultery, substance abuse, gambling, criminal activity, domestic violence, or other malfeasance.
  • The earning potential of each spouse, including their prospects for future employment and educational background.
  • If there are any children involved, the custody arrangement can be a factor in how the property will be divided so as to ensure the children are sufficiently cared for and have some continuity, if possible.
  • The health of each spouse is considered, both in terms of the impact on their needs and on their ability to earn.
  • When a property was acquired could also impact how the court evaluates what is fair.

Complex Property Division

For some divorces involving standard assets such as a house, bank accounts, normal debt, and other standard financial instruments, the process of property division can be relatively straightforward. There may be challenges, but they’ll likely be commonplace.

However, in other situations, the divorcing couple’s estate may include a number of uncommon and complicated assets or debts, which can make property division challenging. Some of the kinds of property that can increase the complexity of property division include:

  • Business Interests. A family business or other involvement with a business can be challenging to manage throughout the divorce process.
  • Oil, Gas, and Mineral Rights. These rights are often very valuable but difficult to divide.
  • Livestock. For many families in the area, livestock is a significant portion of their estate.
  • Retirement Accounts. It can be especially complicated to understand the impact of retirement accounts on the estate.
  • Investment Properties. These properties are often a valuable source of revenue, and if spouses want to maintain the property through the divorce rather than sell it and divide the proceeds, it can require some creative thinking.

What Does a Leander Complex Property Division Lawyer Do?

When you work with a complex property division lawyer, they can help with all aspects of your divorce proceedings, such as child custody, spousal support, and child support. However, they can also take on some functions that are particularly related to the issue of property division.

In a divorce where the property involved is complex, one of the most important issues we can help with is advice. Depending on the circumstances, you will likely have multiple options available to you in terms of how to handle the division of certain property and parts of your estate. We can help you sort through those options and understand the consequences of each one.

Additionally, we can help you understand the issue of property division within the broader context of the divorce and the other issues that need to be resolved.

Before the property division even begins, we can help you with the necessary disclosure paperwork. It’s imperative that this disclosure is thorough and properly done. With our experience, we understand the types of questions we need to ask to ensure that you don’t accidentally overlook anything that should be included.

We can also help prepare the paperwork properly and interpret the other side’s disclosure so that you have a full understanding of what property needs to be considered through the process.

Negotiation vs. Litigation

It’s generally the preference of the courts for a divorcing couple to reach a settlement agreement regarding the fundamental issues at hand in a divorce, including property division. Generally, this is also better for the spouses, as it gives them the opportunity to have more influence over the process and how the property will be split up. In the case of complex property division, this is especially true, as you may not want the court deciding how property that they are unfamiliar with should be divided.

To avoid going to court, many couples choose to employ alternative dispute resolution methods, such as arbitration and mediation. A family lawyer can also help you come to an agreement on property division with these methods.

The negotiation process can often be challenging, but your lawyer has the skills needed to help the process go smoothly. For example, they can help set your expectations before you begin negotiating. Negotiations can turn contentious when one party has unreasonable expectations for the outcome, given the law’s parameters. However, we can help you understand the range of possible outcomes so that your expectations are properly calibrated.

A lawyer can also help ensure that the negotiation process stays focused and on track. It’s easy to get derailed, especially with the emotions involved in a divorce, but a lawyer can help direct the process to the issues at hand. This can help the couple reach a settlement sooner. Additionally, a lawyer can help craft an agreement that a judge is likely to approve. The court will still need to look at the final agreement and make a decision regarding whether the division is “just and right.”

There may also be some situations where a negotiated settlement regarding property division is not a possibility. If that’s the case, a judge will hold a hearing on the issue and hear out both sides regarding their feelings about how the property should be divided and why. During the hearing, it’s imperative that you have a strong lawyer representing you.

We can make your strongest case, as we have a thorough understanding of the law and what a judge is looking for. With complex property, your lawyer may also need to describe the unique elements of the property and how they impact the issue of division.

The Vaught Law Firm Can Help You With Complex Property Division Cases in Leander, Texas

Property division is one of the most complicated aspects of the divorce process. In circumstances where the couple has a variety of high-value assets, a diverse estate, or a complicated history, the process can become even more challenging. One of the most difficult aspects of property division is that it is fraught with unfamiliar issues and complexities. That’s why it’s imperative that you work with someone who has a strong understanding of property and divorce.

We’ve seen all manner of unique property division challenges. Our team at the Vaught Law Firm is prepared to work through these challenging circumstances and rely on our extensive experience to handle the irregular issues that emerge in your divorce.

We understand both the law and how the courts may view these complicated issues. Whether your property division case can be solved through a negotiated agreement or needs to be addressed by the court, we are prepared to advocate for your interests. Contact us to discuss your divorce and estate.