Asset & Debt Division in Texas Divorces
One of the most contentious issues in divorces is commonly the question of how to divide up the shared assets. After all, the resolution of this aspect of your divorce will, to a large degree, determine how easily you are able to move forward with your life. If you are deprived of your fair share of the marital estate, you could be left struggling financially for years to come as you try to rebuild your life and regain a position of stability. Beyond the purely economic considerations, there is also the aspect of being able to enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that you have been able to keep what is rightfully yours.
Furthermore, today's uncertain economic climate has seen many families in Dallas and nationwide falling deeper and deeper into debt. Your divorce cannot be finalized until arrangements have been made and court orders issued concerning who will be responsible for paying the debts that you and your spouse owe. Depending on the resolution of this issue, you could end up with a fair disposition, you might avoid paying much of the debt, or you could be ordered to pay not only your own debts but also those debts that were incurred by your spouse.
Community vs. Separate Property
Assets that either spouse acquired during the course of the marriage are legally the shared property of both parties, regardless of whose name is on the title. Anything classified as community property is subject to division. Anything that you owned prior to your marriage, on the other hand, will be categorized as separate property. Items of separate property, however, that have increased in value during the course of the marriage may be subject to division of the accrued value. Furthermore, one spouse may have a partial claim to the separate property of the other spouse if he or she performed work or made investments to contribute to its increase in value.
Get Protection from an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Dallas
If you and your spouse carry out an uncontested divorce, a Dallas divorce attorney from O'Neil & Attorneys can help you to negotiate a settlement for the division of your assets and debts. We frequently retain the services of certified public accountants, counselors, financial planners, and other professionals who can assist with matters of valuation of the estate, sorting out the records and establishing who should be responsible for payment of certain debts. In the event that an out-of-court settlement is not possible, however, we can represent you in court proceedings.
To learn more about the laws applying to property division and find out what kind of disposition you might expect in your own case, contact us for an initial consultation.
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Call O'Neil & Attorneys at (972) 852-8000