East Texas Property Division Attorneys
Bringing Resolution to Complex Marital Property Estates
In just a few years of marriage, couples can accumulate extensive assets, such as equity in the marital home, retirement accounts (401k, IRA, pension), inheritances, trusts, family-held businesses and other properties. At the Tyler, Texas, law office of Bain, Files, Jarrett & Harrison, our attorneys are committed to helping clients protect and preserve their interests in these assets. We offer experienced, diligent representation in the division of marital property and debt allocation. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation.
Understanding Separate and Community Property
Community property includes any property that is acquired during the marriage as a result of either party’s time, talent or labor. Texas courts presume that all property in either party’s name at the time of divorce is community property, unless you can prove otherwise through clear and convincing evidence. Separate property includes any property that is not community property. Generally, this includes gifts from parents, inheritances, along with businesses or other property acquired prior to marriage.
Under Texas equitable division laws, community property is divided in a manner which is deemed fair and equitable – which does not necessarily mean equal division. In order to determine fair property division, the courts consider all relevant factors, such as:
- Fault in the breakup of the marriage
- Disparity of earning power and employability
- Age and health of the spouses
- Wasting of community assets or excessive community property gifts given
- Temporary support paid by a spouse
- Gifts to or by a spouse during the marriage
- Increase in value of separate property through community efforts
- Creation of community property through the use of separate assets
- Needs of the children of the marriage
Our lawyers have exceptional skill in handling reimbursement claims under Texas divorce law. These claims involve one marital estate paying the bills of another marital estate. For example, if a wife receives a separate property inheritance from her parents and uses those assets to make a down payment on or to pay off the mortgage of a community property house, the wife may claim a reimbursement against the house.
We Protect Your Interests in Property Division
If you have significant assets you want to keep as separate property, you need advice from an attorney who concentrates in family law. It’s important to remember that good tax advice may not be good divorce advice. Nor will good estate-planning advice necessarily be good divorce advice. Many people do things with their separate property to avoid estate taxes at time of death. However, by doing so without the advice of an experienced divorce attorney, you could jeopardize your separate property rights in the event of divorce.
The characterization of marital property, either separate or community and the tracing of those assets requires an attorney who both knows the law and has the practical experience to apply it. However, solely identifying the marital estate’s composition is futile unless your lawyer provides you a competent analysis of the proposed division of assets. Our attorneys will work with you and any necessary experts, such as valuation, tracing, forensic accountant or appraisal professionals, to protect your separate property.
Board Certified Family Law Attorneys
Contact the property division lawyers of Bain, Files, Jarrett & Harrison.
Our divorce law firm serves clients in east Texas, including Tyler, Longview, Marshall, Canton, Palestine, Athens, Quitman, Henderson, Rusk, Jacksonville, Nacogdoches, Smith County and Gregg County.