Property and Debt Division Lawyer

Burleson & Fort Worth, TX

Safeguard your interests.

When a disagreement over the equitable distribution of marital assets, property, and debt has delayed your divorce, you need a divorce attorney who is capable of protecting your rights and your investments. The trusted divorce lawyers at Lovelace Law, P.C. inspect each detail of every document, including prenuptial agreements, to safeguard your interests and personal property. 

Spouses often do not understand how much is on the line when negotiating property distribution. When a marriage ends, significant property and assets are at stake, such as:

  • Real estate — primary, vacation and retirement residences, farms and ranches, rental property, and undeveloped land
  • Motor vehicles
  • Retirement benefits — 401(k)s, pensions
  • Deferred income
  • Stocks and stock options
  • Bank accounts
  • Offshore accounts (hidden assets) that can be investigated
  • Inheritances
  • Memberships and collectibles

Understanding Texas Property Law

In Texas courts, property is divided one of two ways during divorce: community property or separate property. Debts are also categorized in the same way.

  • Community Property Property owned by both spouses. It is divided equally (50/50) between spouses and does not include individual belongings.
  • Separate Property — Property that belongs solely to one spouse and either was not purchased with mutual funds, or was acquired before marriage or after separation.

Determining what is community property and what is separate property can be a complicated process, but there are some general rules that are followed: 

  • Community property includes all income made during the marriage and everything obtained with those earnings. This also includes pension and retirement funds, investment accounts, and credit card bills. Debts collected during the marriage are also community property, with some exceptions.
  • Separate property includes property specifically allocated to one spouse and not the other such as inheritances, gifts, and personal injury awards. Anything purchased with a spouse’s personal funds is considered separate property. 
    • If a piece of separate property increases in value during the marriage, that increase is considered community property and would be split equally. Increases in value can be caused by active or passive appreciation. 
      • Active appreciation Caused by contributions from the other spouse such as receiving and using ideas and advice, talking to clients, traveling to conventions, etc.
      • Passive appreciation — Caused by economic influences like supply and demand and inflation. If a piece of real estate increases in value without your spouse making upgrades or improvements, that would be considered passive appreciation.
  • Finally, property purchased with separate and community funds is considered part community and part separate property. These properties generally end up becoming community property, unless a spouse can prove that some separate funds were used.

According to Texas law, debts are handled differently than property and assets during divorce. Even though debts are usually considered community debt, they are not always divided equally between spouses like assets. Alternatively, courts in Texas divide debts equitably. So, a spouse that takes out a loan or accrues debt independently can be held responsible for that debt during the debt division process.

Contact a Property and Debt Division Lawyer

“Equitable” does not necessarily mean “equal.” Lovelace Law, P.C. lawyers work hard to ensure that you receive your fair share of marital assets and property, as well as avoid debt that you are not responsible for. 

Reach out to the family law attorneys at Lovelace Law, P.C. for help resolving your dispute.

Contact us to arrange your free initial divorce consultation today. We always discuss your property division and divorce objectives in complete confidence.