It is important to talk to your Sugar Land divorce attorney about how you can keep your finances in order and best prepare financially for divorce. What we will advise against is trying to hide assets because that is fraudulent and can get you into a lot of trouble with the courts. Not only will hiding assets get you into legal trouble, but it can affect your child custody and support situation. Keep in mind, however, that your spouse might be trying to hide assets, and we need to identify this to protect your rights.
Asset Division in Texas
Texas divides the property into two categories – community property and separate property. However, unlike most community property states, a couple’s community property is not expected to be equally divided. Instead, the law divides property to be divided in a divorce based on what they deem to be fair and just, not based on what is equal or 50/50. The courts consider the following factors in dividing up assets for divorce:
- Work history/earning potential/education of each spouse
- Length of the marriage
- Age and health of each spouse
- The standard of living the couple is accustomed to
What this means as far as protecting your assets is that you’ll want to start gathering documentation for things that belong to you alone and proof of what you bought together. Even if the house is in your spouse’s name only, it is likely community property if it was purchased during the marriage using marital funds.
What About Joint Bank Accounts?
Sometimes, during a divorce, one spouse will go and clean out a joint bank account and put the money into an individual account. If you are on the receiving end of a joint account wipe-out, make sure to save all the relevant receipts or bank statements – or whatever you have – as evidence of what was taken out. The contents of a joint bank account are something to be decided on during the divorce settlement process, not by whoever got to the ATM first after storming out of the house. Your attorney will know how to get your fair share of those assets, even if your spouse has already withdrawn them.
Do You Need an Asset Division Lawyer?
Some things an experienced family practice lawyer can help you with include:
- How to handle anything you acquired after moving out of the marital residence
- Having one spouse’s name removed from deeds or titles (cars, houses).
- Dividing up retirement accounts, which is a particularly sticky issue if you are under retirement age
To protect your assets as much as possible from surprise taxes or other unforeseen expenses, we highly recommend consulting a financial expert (CPA, tax attorney, etc.) as well.
Protect Yourself Financially with a Sugar Land Divorce Lawyer
If you are getting divorced, you want a savvy attorney on your side who can protect your property rights. Jamie Jordan, PLLC, has years of experience working with Texas divorces, including asset division. Contact us today to lock in the best possible outcome for your divorce.