Property Division Myths to Watch Out for in Your Dallas Divorce

Divorce is confusing. Even if clients think they know what to expect, they are almost always surprised. Divorce comes with it a whole slew of emotions, legal technicalities, and yes, myths. From “the mother always gets the children” to “all assets are split 50/50,” our clients at the Clark Law Group typically enter the divorce process with preconceived notions about the rules of divorce. These preconceived notions often result in upset and dissatisfaction at the final divorce settlement. As seasoned divorce attorneys, our job is to advise you on Texas divorce rules, present you with realistic expectations, and guide you toward an outcome that combines the two.

Five Property Division Myths to Watch Out For

Friends and family members who have gone through a divorce likely have advice to offer you regarding property division. This advice may leave you feeling stressed out and wondering if your life post-divorce will be one of desolation and financial-hardship. The good news is that, while well-intentioned, this advice is often misguided. The following are the top five myths regarding Dallas property division:

Assets are Split 50/50

Most couples assume that because Texas is a community property state, all of the assets they acquired during marriage will be split 50/50. Unfortunately, this is almost never the case. The judge will attempt to divide the couple’s assets in such a way that is fair and equitable, and in a way that ensures both parties have the assets they need to maintain their accustomed standard of living.

Additionally, under the Texas Family Code, Section 7.002, it states that “…the court shall order a division of the following real and personal property, wherever situated, in a manner that the court deems just and right…” There are a number of factors a court may consider when deciding how to divide property including but not limited to:

  • Fault in the breakup of the marriage;
  • Fraud on the community estate;
  • Disparity of earning power of the spouses and their ability to support themselves;
  • Health of the spouse;
  • Education and future employability of the spouses;
  • Community indebtedness and liabilities;
  • Tax consequences of the division property;
  • Ages of the spouses;
  • Earning power, business opportunities, capacities, and abilities of the spouses;
  • Need for future support;
  • Nature of the property involved in the division;
  • Wasting of community assets by the spouses;
  • Credit for temporary support paid by a spouse;
  • Community funds used to purpose out-of-state property; and
  • Gifts to or by a spouse during the marriage;

Among many others.

The Higher Earning Spouse Will Keep Most of the Income

Your job is considered a marital asset, and as such, is subject to division. When dividing a couple’s assets, as judge will consider the monetary contributions that each party brought to the marriage and award alimony to the lesser earning spouse depending on their financial needs.

Businesses are Not Marital Property

Any business or partnership started or acquired during a marriage is marital property, despite the non-partner spouse’s contribution to the business. In Texas, a business is subject to the same type of division as a piece of art or retirement savings account.

If the Property Is in My Name, it is My Property

Just because one party puts his or her name on a piece of property does not automatically make it theirs. In Texas, all property purchased during the length of the marriage belongs to both parties; however, the party’s whose name is on the property has a chance to prove the property to be separate property through clear and convincing evidence.

I Earned it, Therefore it is Mine

All income earned during a marriage by either party is community property. This includes money from working, retirement benefits, contributions to a 401(k) or IRA, and other sources of income.

Consult a Dallas High Net Worth Divorce Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Stephen Clark, our high net worth divorce lawyers have heard several misconceptions regarding property division in Texas. Our goal is to make the divorce process as simple and straightforward as possible – which means putting to rest any myths and any misconceptions that clients have. Though friends, family members, and acquaintances have your best interests at heart, their advice may leave you feeling more confused than ever. For a thorough and accurate understanding of what to expect during the property division aspect of your divorce, consult with one of our Dallas divorce lawyers today. Call (214) 438-1152, or use our online contact form, to schedule your free consultation today.

(image courtesy of Ben Garratt)

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