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Negotiating division of assets in divorce

Texas residents might be interested to hear that understanding how assets are split in divorce proceedings might be conducive to couples having less contentious divorce proceedings. One of the biggest issues that fuels arguments in a divorce is how assets will be divided up among the couple. Much of the confusion can be credited to a misunderstanding of how assets are divided in a divorce.

Unless couples have premarital agreements drawn up prior to their marriages that state how assets will be allocated in the event of divorces, their assets are divided depending on what types of assets they are as well as what state they reside in. Couples usually have separate assets and then marital ones. Separate assets are those couples don't have to divide up in a divorce, and marital assets are divided.

Separate assets are those that individuals go into the marriage with. Separate assets only become marital if the owner of the assets puts them in the other spouse's name as well after they are married. Marital assets are all the other assets that either person acquired after the couple was married. For example, bank accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, vehicles, real estate and other assets are considered to be owned by both spouses no matter whose name they are titled in if they were married when the assets were obtained.

Next, community property states require that marital assets be divided 50/50, whereas equitable distribution ones take other factors into consideration. Texas is a community property state, so how long the couple was married, how much each spouse contributed and other factors have no bearing on how marital assets are divided. Divorce attorneys might be able to help spouses negotiate their divorce settlements.

Source: Huffington Post , "Understanding How Assets Get Divided In Divorce", Jeff Landers, June 14, 2013

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