Divorce is a significant life event involving many factors, including the separation of shared property.
When a marriage ends, both parties need to be able to divide their assets equitably.
Identification of marital property
The initial stage in dividing property involves differentiating between marital and separate assets. Possessions acquired during the marriage, such as houses and shared bank accounts comprise the marital property. Separate property pertains to gifts, inheritances and belongings that each person owned before getting married.
Valuation of assets
After pinpointing the shared assets in the marriage, you must establish the value of each one. This involves obtaining professional assessments for any real estate, vehicles or precious possessions such as jewelry and art that you possess. Proper valuation of assets helps both individuals receive a fair portion of the property.
The principle of fair distribution guides property division in Texas. This does not necessarily mean an even split; instead, the goal is to find a fair and appropriate allocation of assets. You need to consider the length of the marriage, the contributions of each party, each party’s financial situation and the future needs of each party.
Consideration of debts
Property division is not limited to assets. Debts such as mortgages, credit card balances and loans that the couple accumulated during the marriage are also important parts of the equation. During the property division process, the court divides debts with the principles of fair distribution in mind.
Negotiation and mediation
Many couples engage in negotiations to reach an agreement on how to distribute their assets. Mediation, overseen by an impartial third party, can be a valuable method for reaching a mutually satisfactory arrangement. Through mediation, couples have a voice in the final decision rather than relying on a judge. Additionally, mediation often leads to a quicker resolution than a traditional divorce, which averages around a year.
When both parties reach an acceptable property division arrangement, their agreement is subject to legal approval. This ensures that the division of property adheres to Texas legal guidelines and is fair to both parties. Once approved, the property division becomes legally binding.
Property division can be a complex and emotional aspect of divorce. You should approach the process with clarity, open communication and a focus on fairness.