Houston Property of a Single Spouse Attorney
During a divorce, one of the most critical things to do is divide up property that accumulated during the marriage. In Texas, all property is either community property or separate property. Community property is any property that was obtained during the marriage by either spouse. These assets will be subject to property division as dictated by a judge. Separate property, also known as property of a single spouse, will not be considered when property is being divided during a divorce. Separate property includes gifts to just one spouse, inheritances, and anything the spouse owned or acquired before the marriage. Understanding the subtle nuances of the division of assets during a divorce in Texas can be tricky. That’s why the experienced and seasoned family law attorneys of Holmes, Diggs & Sadler are here to guide you through your divorce process. We will ensure that you get what you deserve.
Trying to keep your separate property from being characterized as community property is not as easy as it seems. You will need to be very diligent and thorough when trying to meet the standard to prove separate property. An attorney can simplify this process tremendously. If you are going through a divorce and need assistance with maintaining your separate property, contact Holmes, Diggs & Sadler today. We will work tirelessly to help you throughout this process. Contact us at (713) 802-1777 or fill out a web contact form.
Why Choose Holmes, Diggs & Sadler?
During a divorce, you want to make sure you don’t get cheated out of what is rightfully yours. The hurdle for the standard of proving separate property can be huge if you are not equipped with the proper knowledge. This is an overwhelming time in your life; you can easily make mistakes because of clouded judgment. You don’t want to lose what you and your spouse know is rightfully yours just because it would be cheaper not to consult an attorney. You may lose something more significant than money without a lawyer to assist you through this complicated process.
Countless firms in Houston could help you with retaining your separate property. But, divorces contain a lot of personal and sensitive information. You don’t want just any firm who has only basic understanding of separate property in Texas to assist you. There are some things to consider when choosing the right firm to handle your case: Who can I trust? Will my needs be put first? Will they communicate openly and honestly with me?
At Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, we have consistently been named as a Super Lawyer in Family and Divorce by Texas Monthly since 2010. With over 90 years of combined experience, our firm can assist you with whatever you may need in this difficult time of your life. It is our knowledge, skills, and resources that allow us to be successful. Our constant involvement with separate property cases in Texas makes our clients feel comfortable knowing that we have the experience to support them. Holmes, Diggs & Sadler stands out from the crowd because we dedicate ourselves to our clients. We provide clear and open communication with our clients so that they are fully aware of what is happening throughout the whole process. The attorneys at Holmes, Diggs & Sadler will fight aggressively for your rights and make sure that you leave with the property that you deserve.
What is Separate Property?
According to the Texas Family Code, separate property can consist of the following:
- The property owned or claimed by the spouse before the marriage
- The property acquired by the spouse during marriage by gift, devise, or descent
- The recovery for personal injuries sustained by the spouse during the marriage, except any recovery for loss of earning capacity during the marriage
Tex. Fam. Code § 3.001.
While separate property seems rather straightforward, it can become tricky in certain circumstances. For example, if you had a coin collection before the marriage, but continued to collect during the marriage, would it be separate or community property? A lot of consideration goes into this answer, such as why you intended to continue the collection and what money you used to fund the expansion. Depending on the answer to those questions, the coin collection could be categorized as either separate or community property. Possessing the right knowledge can help make the distinction. This is why it’s important to have a lawyer providing assistance because they can help better protect your possessions.
The Standard for Proving Property of a Single Spouse
Proving separate property in Texas is difficult. The spouse proposing a separate property claim must prove the case by providing “clear and convincing” evidence. To put it simply, the standard is having a greater degree of believability than “more likely than not.” Usually, the civil standard is a “preponderance of evidence,” which just means you can prove it by 51%. Texas requires a higher standard for the burden of proof because the division of property is strongly rooted in equity.
How to Prove Separate Property
Proving property of a single spouse will largely depend on which type of separate property the spouse is claiming: possessed before marriage, gift, or personal injuries.
- Possessed before the marriage: For a spouse to prove that the property was owned before the marriage, they must show proof of when and how they acquired it. It is important that the spouse shows that the property they are claiming to be separate does not blend with community property. Otherwise, it will more than likely be deemed community property.
- Acquired as a gift: There are three elements that need to be proved to show the property was indeed acquired as a gift. They are: (1) the property was intended to be a gift; (2) the property was delivered to the spouse; and (3) the property was accepted by the spouse.
- Recovery for personal injuries: This is a rather simple standard to accomplish because many times there are legal records of such an occurrence or event.
By consulting with an experienced Houston family lawyer, you may be able to prove which property should be kept separate from the proceedings. Let our experienced team help you protect what is yours and keep the things that matter most to you.
The Houston separate property lawyers at Holmes, Diggs & Sadler are ready to assist you to craft a legal strategy that will help you retain your separate property. If you are considering divorce, a Houston divorce attorney from Holmes, Diggs & Sadler can help you work towards the outcome you and your family deserve. Contact us today at (713) 802-1777.