Property and asset division is a core part of any divorce case in Fort Worth. The law in Texas automatically gives joint ownership to any property acquired during the marriage under its “community property” laws. When the marriage ends, the parties need to decide who gets what property, and that can mean incredibly different economic outcomes when it comes to how investments, houses, and other major assets are divided.
For help with your asset division during your divorce case, call The Queenan Law Firm. Our Fort Worth property and asset division lawyers represent people in divorce cases, handling all aspects of the case with experience and professionalism, including asset division. For help with your case, call our lawyers today to set up a free case consultation. Our number is (817) 476-1797.
What Property is Divided During a Divorce in Fort Worth?
Asset division during a divorce can touch on any assets you own. In many cases, couples will fight to get essential assets like houses or expensive assets like cars, art pieces, or luxury items. In other couples, asset division focuses on economic assets like business interests, investments, or property titles. In general, things like bank accounts, furniture, household items, jewelry, and other assets can also be part of the marital estate, making them subject to division.
Under Texas law, any property acquired during the marriage is considered community property and is shared by both spouses. That means that if you started a business, bought a house, bought a car, or invested in the stock market after you were married, all of those assets and holdings are jointly owned. Other assets that you owned before the marriage are known as “separate property” and are not subject to asset division; each spouse keeps what they brought to the marriage. However, any assets that were intentionally shared or transferred become community property and can be divided during divorce. This commonly happens when a spouse is added to the title of a house or a car.
Some commingled assets often lead to complex outcomes and analysis. The money in a joint bank account is not necessarily community property, as some of it might have been separate property when it was added. Additionally, other things like stocks and rental properties might provide income that is considered community property, but the stocks and rental properties themselves might still be individual property.
It is important to talk to a Fort Worth family lawyer about other assets, such as gifts to one party or damages from a personal injury lawsuit. These could be wholly or partly individual property, even if acquired during the marriage.
Typically, any assets acquired after separation are separate property, even if the divorce was not yet finalized.
How Do Courts Divide Assets During Fort Worth Divorce Cases?
Under Texas Family Law § 7.001, courts are supposed to divide assets in a “just and right” way. Some community property states use a default 50/50 split, while states like Texas are sometimes said to look for “equitable” division. This could mean that assets are divided 50/50, but it more often means that the court will look at various factors to determine who deserves what assets and whether either spouse will receive more of the marital property.
One factor built into § 7.001 is the consideration of children in the marriage. In many cases, the court will give assets like a shared home to the parent who will be primarily taking care of the children. This allows the kids to stay at home and gives that parent property they can use directly toward caring for shared children.
Courts can also look at other factors. Commonly, if one party needs additional assets to help cover medical expenses and disabilities, they will get these assets. Courts also award alimony in many cases to give couples ongoing income, so the question of how much of the marital estate a spouse will walk away with is often tied to that decision as well. For example, a spouse who does not have a job might need additional assets to help support themselves, especially if they spent years of marriage as a homemaker and stay-at-home parent rather than working toward career development.
Prenuptials and Agreements for Asset Division in Fort Worth
In many cases, leaving the asset division to the court can mean losing assets you wanted or needed to keep. Instead of having a judge decide who gets what assets, courts in Texas often allow the parties to make their own agreements as to how to split their community property. Both spouses and their lawyers can get together and negotiate asset division, and as long as the agreement is “just and right,” the judge should be able to sign off on it.
Courts also enforce prenuptial agreements in most cases where the agreement is free from coercion or fraud. If you have a prenuptial agreement, you can often dictate what property will be reserved as separate property and what party will be shared, community property. This can help both spouses know what will happen at asset division before they even get married. Postnuptial agreements can similarly be formed, but as the name implies, these are signed after the wedding instead of before it.
Call Our Fort Worth Asset Division Lawyers for Help with Your Divorce
The Queenan Law Firm represents husbands and wives in divorce cases and works to help protect their economic interests and fight to give them a fair share of the assets in a divorce case. Whether you are filing for divorce or defending against a divorce petition, our Fort Worth asset division lawyers may be able to help. Call our law offices today at (817) 476-1797 to set up a free case consultation with our Fort Worth and Fort Worth family law attorneys for asset division.