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Irving Property Division Lawyer

Asset Division Lawyer in Dallas

When a couple decides to get a divorce, one of the most critical issues that must be addressed is the division of property. In Texas, community property obtained during a marriage is generally considered equally owned by the spouses. However, this rule has some exceptions, and it is essential to understand the difference between community property and separate property when dividing assets during a divorce.

At the Law Office of Michelle Poblenz, we understand that few issues are more stress-inducing during a divorce than how property will be divided. Our knowledgeable divorce attorney has the robust experience to provide skilled legal representation and help you navigate this challenging time.

What Is Considered Community Property?

In Texas, community property is defined as any property acquired during the marriage, with a few exceptions. Community property can include income, assets, and debts that either spouse receives or acquires during the marriage. Both spouses own community property equally, regardless of who earned the income or whose name is on the title of a specific asset.

The community property laws in Texas apply to all types of property, including real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, and businesses. When dividing community property during a divorce, the court will typically divide the property in a way that is "just and right." However, it is important to keep in mind that this does not mean a clean 50/50 split.

What About Retirement Benefits?

It is not uncommon for a couple's retirement benefits to be among their highest-valued assets. Texas considers retirement benefits to be community property. As a result, these benefits can be divided between spouses during a divorce. Retirement benefits may include pensions, 401(k) plans, and IRAs that were earned or contributed to during the marriage.

When dividing retirement benefits during a divorce, the court will typically issue a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). A QDRO is a court order that directs the retirement plan administrator to divide the benefits between the spouses in accordance with the divorce settlement agreement. The QDRO will specify the percentage or amount of the benefits that each spouse is entitled to receive. When retirement assets are divided in this manner, taxes will not be applied to funds that are withdrawn from an account, and the account holder will not be penalized for withdrawing funds before they are old enough to retire.

Dividing retirement benefits can be highly complicated, and there are multiple factors to consider. Because of this, it is essential to work with an experienced divorce attorney who can help you understand your rights and options.

What Is Considered Separate Property?

In addition to community property, Texas recognizes that spouses may own separate property. This property may include assets owned by one spouse before the marriage or acquired by one spouse during the marriage through specific means. There are three main types of separate property in Texas:

  • Property owned by one spouse before the marriage: Any property a person owned before they were married will usually continue to be owned solely by that spouse. This can include real estate, bank accounts, business interests, and personal property.
  • Property acquired by gift or inheritance: Money or assets that one spouse inherited from a relative or received as a gift from someone else are generally considered to be separate property.
  • Property acquired through a personal injury settlement: In some cases, money a spouse received as compensation for a personal injury may be considered separate property. Notably, compensation for medical expenses or pain and suffering will be classified as separate property, but damages related to reduced earning capacity will be considered marital property.

Contact an Irving Property Division Attorney

There is no question that the property division process can be stressful. However, retaining a qualified family law attorney's services can make the process much less complicated. At the Law Office of Michelle Poblenz, our dedicated divorce lawyer has represented clients in countless cases involving complex property division issues. No matter your situation, we can help you find solutions that will protect your financial interests. We serve clients in Dallas, Irving, and Tarrant County, and we offer private consultations. Contact us at 469-845-3031 to schedule your consultation today.

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