The process of divorce can be a difficult one for a multitude of reasons. In particular, the subject of real estate, property, and assets can become complicated, as the items that were acquired during the marriage must now be divided.
Community property states, such as Texas, simplify this process to a degree. In community property states, it is generally decided that the assets earned during the course of the marriage belong to both individuals. As such, the property is typically divided equally between both parties, making for a fair distribution of marital assets.
The Division of Property & Other Assets
Dividing assets following divorce is not always so simple. In some cases, couples own assets that belonged to them as individuals, before they became married. There may also be gifts or inheritances that belong to an individual, but that was obtained during the marriage.
Stock, bonds, 401k plans, and pensions can also become challenging to divide. An individual may have a pension that was acquired before the marriage, but if a couple contributes to the pension together, it can become difficult to decide how to distribute the pension.
The division of these kinds assets may need to be decided in a court of law, especially if the couple is unable to come to a mutual agreement on their own.
Laws Dictating the Rules of Property Distribution
There are many complex laws that dictate the rules of property distribution during a divorce. There may also be Federal tax implications that should be seriously considered prior to, or immediately following asset distribution. Asset distribution laws will vary widely among different states, and may or may not be impacted by the divorce itself.
Certain states are community property states, while other states are equitable distribution states. Both types of property distribution have their own advantages and disadvantages. It is important to have an experienced attorney evaluate your situation to ensure that you receive a fair share of the marital assets.
Some of these issues can be completely avoidable if there is proper estate planning during the course of the relationship. Estate planning can simplify the process of property distribution in the event of a divorce or sudden death, yet is rarely considered at the onset of the relationship.