Settling in divorce is much faster, efficient and less problematic than going to court. However, that does not mean that you won’t face any stress regarding the distribution of your marital property. You can reduce the pressure and the uncertainty by knowing how the division process works in Texas, as well as what you can keep and what you may have to negotiate. That way, you can ensure you make a good move when the time to decide comes.
What you can keep
Before starting the negotiations with your spouse, you must know how property distribution works in a community property state like Texas. According to the law, everything you and your spouse acquired during the marriage should be divided equally between you. In a divorce settlement, you can set your own terms of distribution. Still, if you don’t make the distribution based on the law, your spouse could take your case to court.
You must consider that everything you acquired during the marriage must be included in the settlement to avoid problems. The property or assets you bought before the marriage and any gifts or inheritance made directly to you are your separate property, and you can keep them. The same applies to income you received from your separate property and money you received from a personal injury recovery.
Negotiating property and assets
Now that you know which property is subject to distribution, you must gather all your financial information to have a good picture of what you own. Consider all real estate property, art, income, retirement earnings and all your benefits earned during the marriage. Then, determine what you want to keep and what you would sacrifice in return for that asset. You must also take into account the following:
- All property comes with tax liability. Will you be able to pay those taxes? Consider inflation.
- How will you pay for the costs that a property implies?
- Who will pay your debts?
- How should your bank accounts and retirement benefits be divided?
- How will the settlement impact your living expenses?
It may be challenging to choose what you want to keep, but you can make this decision easier if you keep in mind that getting the most assets is not convenient sometimes. Think about the taxes and the costs of the property, and don’t let your emotions cloud your judgment. Some things may have emotional value to you, but maybe you won’t be able to afford them on your own.
A fair settlement
In a divorce settlement, you and your spouse can choose how to divide the marital property according to your wishes. You will want to get as much as possible from the process, but remember that that is not always beneficial. However, you have the right to half of your marital estate, so if your spouse is unwilling to negotiate or accept your terms, you can take your case to court. It is your property as well, and you have the right to fight for it.