Houston Property Division Lawyers
Every divorce case is different, but one of the major issues that tends to arise in many cases is the division of marital property. Texas is considered a community property state, meaning most property acquired during the marriage is community property that belongs to both spouses and needs to be divided in a manner that the court deems “just and right.”
It is important to understand that what a court considers just and right is not always an even division. In some cases, a court may deem a 60-40 split or even a more imbalanced distribution is just and right.
Some property division disputes end up becoming the sole focus of divorcing spouses. Such attitudes are rarely beneficial, as spouses can lose sight of other important factors deserving of consideration.
Are you engaged in a dispute over property division relating to your divorce in Texas? Gregory Law PLLC assists clients throughout the greater Houston area. Call (713) 861-1293 to have our lawyers review your case and help you understand your legal options during an initial consultation.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer to Handle Property Division?
Texas courts assume all property acquired during a marriage is community property subject to division. The only way for a spouse to claim property as separate property is for them to make a separate property claim, which must be proven by clear and convincing evidence, which is a higher standard of proof than in most civil cases.
An experienced attorney will know how to prove that your property is in fact yours. Your lawyer will also be able to provide other valuable forms of assistance relating to property division such as:
- Proper valuation and division of assets.
- Having a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) prepared to divide retirement benefits.
- Working with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to divide stocks fairly.
- Proper valuation of all business entities and interests.
- Proper valuation of pensions.
- Proper valuation of retirement accounts.
- Fair use of the family home or vehicle.
- Uncovering possible property fraud (hidden assets).
- Division of marital debts, such as credit cards.
- Family business division.
- Analysis of trust funds.
Our firm can also help you fully appreciate the possible tax implications of certain property decisions. We also know how to handle property division issues involving possible marital misconduct.
Why Choose Gregory Law PLLC?
Gregory Law PLLC employs multiple attorneys capable of handling complex property division issues in divorce cases. Founder Myrna Gregory is a native Houstonian who has more than 25 years of legal experience.
Ms. Gregory is admitted to every state court in Texas and the federal United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. She is a member of Family Law and Civil Litigation Sections of the Houston Bar Association as well as the College of the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Family Law Foundation.
Kitty Crutcher and Melissa Bazan are also lawyers who handle divorce cases at Gregory Law PLLC. Both attorneys are members of the Family Section of the State Bar of Texas.
Together, the lawyers of Gregory Law PLLC provide dedicated representation for clients. Our attorneys fully understand the tremendous importance certain types of property have to some people, and we fight to help the people we serve keep the assets that are most important to them.
Property Division Cases We Handle
Texas Family Code § 3.002 states that community property consists of the property acquired by either spouse during marriage. Under Texas Family Code § 3.001, separate property is defined as:
- Property owned by one spouse before marriage.
- Property given specifically as a gift or inheritance to one spouse.
- Recovery for personal injuries sustained by the spouse during marriage (except any recovery for loss of earning capacity during marriage).
Texas Family Code § 3.003 further provides that property possessed by either spouse during divorce is presumed to be community property. A spouse claiming property is separate property will be required to prove their claim by clear and convincing evidence. Evidence that may be used to demonstrate separate property may include receipts, gift tax returns, inheritance tax returns, and other documentation. You may also be able to testify to attempt to prove that your property is yours, but this may not be convincing enough.
Again, Texas Family Code § 7.001 merely provides that a court must divide the estate of the parties in a manner that the court deems just and right. The factors that can influence what is considered just and right distribution of property include, but are not limited to:
- Reasons for divorce
- Length of marriage
- Difference in spousal incomes
- Spousal contributions to the marriage
- Custody agreements
- Spousal health
- Other factors presented by a spouse
In most cases, property division disputes are resolved through a series of negotiations. When a spouse is unwilling to compromise, Gregory Law PLLC will be willing to go to court to protect your rights.
Property division is about far more than just distributing items a couple had in their home. Dividing marital property involves several kinds of highly complex types of property, including past debts and future income.
When a person knows that certain property should be considered their separate property, it can be especially challenging to prove this fact to the satisfaction of the court. You do not have to try and handle all of these challenges on your own.
If your divorce in Texas involves heated disputes about property division, it will be in your best interest to make sure you have legal representation. Gregory Law PLLC represents clients throughout the greater Houston area.
Our firm will discuss your personal goals and work tirelessly to help you achieve them. Call (713) 861-1293 or contact us online to have our divorce attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case during an initial consultation.