When you and your spouse finally decide to part ways and file for divorce, there are a host of issues to tackle. One of the most perilous may be dividing marital property that you accumulated during the marriage. Texas is one of the few states in the nation that follows a community property model of property division during a divorce.
Rather than divide property in a fair and equitable way, community property states divide all marital property equally in half. This means each spouse leaves the marriage with half of the marital property, unless you negotiate different terms through mediation.
It is important that you understand all the types of marital property and how the process works so that you can get everything you deserve from the marriage. Marital property often includes more than simply the family home and cars. It can also include the following depending on the circumstances involved in the situation:
- Frequent flier miles and travel rewards points
- Income tax refunds and lottery ticket winnings
- Collections, such as art, antiques, coins and classic cars
- Intellectual property, patents, copyrights and trademarks
- Memberships to country clubs and golf courses
- Gifts given to one another during the marriage
Marital property also includes term life insurance policies, 401k plans, stocks, retirement accounts and deferred savings accounts. Furthermore, if you or your spouse lent money to a third-party during the marriage, you should divide the money in half when repaid.
Some property in a divorce may remain separate even after the marriage is terminated. This includes property that you owned prior to becoming married, inheritance money and compensation from a personal injury case. This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.