Houston Property and Assets Attorney
One of the most important issues relating to divorce is the distribution of property between both spouses. In many cases, each individual accumulated a number of assets before marriage, and throughout the course of the relationship, they may have acquired additional property together. If you are going through a divorce, call the Houston property and asset division lawyers with Holmes, Diggs & Sadler today at (713) 802-1777 so that we can help you navigate the process of distributing property and assets.
Texas is a community property state. The property that either person in the relationship acquired during the marriage belongs to both equally. Property begins to become community at the beginning of the marriage, and it ends when the couple separates to end the marriage. Community property includes, but is not limited to, a spouse’s debt, their income, and anything bought during their marriage. The division of property will not include separate property. Separate property is considered any property that a spouse owned before marriage. The original owner will remain the sole owner. However, all property is assumed community unless proven otherwise based on presented evidence.
Division of the community property in Texas is based on a subjective test. Courts will divide up the property based on what is just and right. The court’s determination is rooted in equity to tries and give the fairest outcome to each spouse, given the circumstances. Courts will consider each spouse’s income, who has custody of the children, who is at fault for the end of the marriage, and many other factors.
When dividing up property it can be relatively easy to focus solely on the big items and forget the small things. It is important to remember that in Texas, all property has to be divided up—not just the car, the house, and the boat. It is hard not to be overwhelmed in the face of these divorce situations, and the small things that you have accumulated during the marriage are often forgotten. The process of distributing property and assets is exhausting and requires a lot of patience. You need an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process and ensure that you reach a property settlement that will help satisfy your best interests. At Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, we will work tirelessly on your behalf to help you retain what matters most to you. Call us at (713) 802-1777, fill out a contact form on our website, or chat with us live today.
Why Do I Need A Lawyer?
Divorce is a high-stress situation. It is also exhaustingly emotional, which makes it hard to deal with complex issues. With so much at stake, including the possible welfare of your child or your personal livelihood, a lawyer will be able to provide you with the assistance you need. An attorney can often help keep an explosive situation calm. Emotions and tensions are running high, and you don’t want that to negatively impact your case. An experienced attorney from Holmes, Diggs & Sadler can help protect you and get what you deserve.
If a couple decides to end their relationship and pursue a divorce, it can be difficult to reach an equitable settlement of the marital property that both parties agree upon. For this reason, it is critical to have effective legal representation throughout the divorce process. At Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, we are committed to helping our clients reach the best possible divorce terms and protecting their rights to any individual and joint property. Contact our Houston divorce attorneys today at (713) 802-1777 to discuss your situation in detail with a knowledgeable member of our legal team and learn more about what we can do to help.
Cases We Handle
There are a variety of issues involving assets and property that can arise in divorce settlements or marital agreements. At Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, we are prepared to provide legal assistance to clients in any of the following cases:
- Property division cases that apply to any property that has been acquired by a couple during the term of their marriage
- Asset division cases that help spouses reach an agreement on how property should be distributed
- Large marital estate cases that require our attorneys to help accurately identify and value various holdings and investments
- Preservation of separate property cases that help you retain separate property that is rightfully yours
- Trust and family limited partnership (FLP) cases that involve keeping your assets where you want them when trusts and FLPs are involved
- Qualified domestic relations order cases that involve an alternate payee’s right to receive a portion of any benefits payable from the other party
- Valuation of assets that require putting a valuation on any assets in the marriage
- Tracing assets cases that involve providing evidence that links a spouse to certain assets in order to prove that they are the owner of that particular asset
- Characterization of assets cases that determine property rights for the divorcing couple
- Enforcement of property division cases that require an attorney to step in to enforce a settlement when one spouse refuses to comply with a previously agreed upon divorce agreement
- Premarital agreements that allow couples to confront an array of decisions regarding finances and property and come to an agreement
- Prenuptial agreements that help establish a fair distribution of assets for each spouse both during the marriage and if a separation were to occur
- Marital property agreements that are utilized to clearly differentiate property between each partner of a married or soon-to-be married couple
- Partition agreements that are legal contracts used to divide mutually owned property into separate portions
- Antenuptial agreements that allow couples to make important decisions regarding the future before they are married
- Interstate and international property issues cases that involve property division issues that span across states or countries
Reaching a successful property agreement before marriage, during a marriage, or even during a divorce often requires the help of property lawyers who are unafraid to defend your rights and interest. If you need help protecting your property and assets, call our Houston divorce attorneys today at (713) 802-1777.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is completely understandable that you may not be familiar with all of the terminology and legal framework surrounding the divorce process. That’s why we are here, to help guide you through the process and explain your rights and options along the way. We’ve provided the answers to a few frequently asked questions below, and are ready to help answer any specific questions you may have about your situation. Call us at (713) 802-1777 to speak with a knowledgeable member of our team today.
What is and is not considered community property?
Texas defines community property as everything that has been acquired by either spouse. Property in Texas means assets that include both tangible and intangible property. All property in Texas is presumed community property in a marriage unless proven otherwise. However, not everything is community property. As confusing as it can seem, some things are strictly out of the realm. These noncommunity property items may include family inheritance, gifts given to only one spouse, anything purchased before the marriage, and much more.
What is a “just and right” division of property?
Unlike other states where each spouse would keep their own property, Texas divides up property according to what the judge deems is “just and right.” This means the court will consider the rights of both the parents and the children. Judges have wide discretion in determining what is just and right, and it does not simply mean that each spouse gets 50% of the property and assets. Depending on the circumstances, one spouse may get a disproportionate amount if it is the best interest of the rights of the children and each spouse. There are several factors the court will look at and balance to determine who gets what property. These factors include spouses’ difference in age, each spouses’ health, their education levels, who is the primary caretaker of the child, the length of the marriage, their financial obligations, benefits that may be deprived due to the separation, and many others.
How do spouses commonly hide assets?
Spouses will hide assets by secretly selling property, opening a secret bank account, transferring a title to someone else, and even putting their money in someone else’s bank account. It should also be noted that hiding assets to shield it from property division is illegal.
Who gets the house?
This answer depends on a few factors. If there are children involved, the parent with primary custody will usually retain the home. If the home was bought by one of the people in the relationship before the marriage, the home becomes separate property and belongs solely to the spouse who bought it. If neither of these situations is applicable, the settlement can get a bit more difficult. Since the home is viewed in Texas as community property, neither spouse can claim it as theirs and kick the other out of the house. Sometimes, couples can reach an agreement before bringing the issue to court. However, this is often not the case, and a court will decide during the divorce proceedings on how the property will be distributed.
Whether you are considering marriage or divorce, you should consult with an experienced lawyer on how your assets and property may be affected. Contact a Houston divorce lawyer of Holmes, Diggs & Sadler today at (713) 802-1777 to speak with a qualified member of our legal team about the details of your situation.