Going through a divorce is usually very stressful. One of the most difficult but important aspects of a divorce is the division of property and assets. Property division cases can range from simply deciding who gets to keep a home to the complicated task of divvying up pensions, stocks, family heirlooms, and much more. Texas is a “community property” state; that means under Texas law, any assets acquired by either party during a marriage are shared property and must be divided during a divorce settlement. However, any individual possessions or properties that a person owned before marriage are “separate property” and are not up for distribution during a divorce. Any property that an individual inherits during a marriage is not legally a shared asset between the couple either.
Determining whether something is regarded as “community” or “separate” property is essential to a smooth divorce. Naturally, it can be tricky to determine which assets should belong to which person, but luckily, you do not have to go through this process alone. The San Antonio divorce lawyers at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. are here to help you and have many years of experience in handling divorce and property division cases.
Do I Need a Property Division Lawyer?
While you tend to all of the personal issues involved in a divorce, it makes sense to let an attorney handle the division of property. This will make sure that property is classified correctly and that you do not give anything up in the divorce that you do not have to give up. An experienced attorney can help you preserve the assets and security you deserve during the division process.
During this difficult time, you need to have trusted counsel that understands how to protect your assets. You may think you are equipped to handle these issues on your own. However, it pays to be careful and allow a knowledgeable attorney to take an objective look at the situation. They will likely see things you have missed. Additionally, items such as retirement benefits and business interests can be complex to value and divide. You can gain peace of mind by hiring a lawyer who is experienced in property division.
Why Choose Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P.?
At Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P., each and every one of our partners has been certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for Family Law, a qualification less than 1% of Texas attorneys have. We have three principles that make up the cornerstone of our practice, and we bring them to every client: hard work, attention to detail, and outstanding service to our clients. We’ve handled it all, from simply mediating low-asset, uncontested divorces to highly contested splits fighting over high-value assets. We are dedicated to speed and efficiency, hoping to give all of our clients a meaningful interaction with any member of our staff that they meet.
At Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P., name partner Charles E. Hardy has made a distinguished career as a family law attorney. For decades, he has assisted clients in divorcing and gaining the best possible outcome through the difficult process. He is consistently awarded prestigious legal awards including being named as a Super Lawyer. Partner Amy A. Geistweidt has also been named as a Rising Star and a Texas Super Lawyer. Overall, the team of attorneys and staff at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. take great pride in providing a quality legal service to our clients.
Before we take on your case, we offer a confidential consultation so that we can understand the nuances of your case. From there, we can better advise you of the best options to pursue in your property division matters.
Types of Cases We Handle
Property is categorized by type in divorce proceedings. Community property is any asset that was acquired during the marriage. Community property includes increased value of business interests and income received from separate assets. Separate property is any asset that a spouse owned before marriage and any assets that one spouse acquired through inheritance or as a gift during the marriage. In addition to categorizing each asset as separate or community property, assets must also be valued to make a fair division. This process can be quite contentious, so it is important to have an attorney you trust to assist you in this portion of the proceedings.
Several types of assets and properties can go into a divorce settlement. At Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P., we are prepared to defend and protect your rights in property division cases, including:
Determining the total value of community assets and the extent to which separate assets have increased in value may be necessary. Experts who are CPAs or are experienced in valuing business assets may need to be retained. An experienced attorney will be able to help you obtain the valuations you need to make a clean division of marital property.
Losing valuable assets in the property division portion of a divorce settlement is devastating. Divorces are difficult, but having to lower your quality of life due to lost assets can be even harder. To ensure you do not lose out on deserved properties, contact a lawyer right away to protect you in your property division case.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s important to note that the advice given on this page can never match the advice an attorney can give you in a face-to-face consultation. However, for your convenience, we’ve provided a few common questions we hear about property division. If your question isn’t answered here, contact us at (210) 349-9933 to set up an appointment today.
How is property division determined?
To begin, it’s important that it’s clear that both assets and debts fall under your dividable property. However, only debts and assets that have both your’s and your ex’s names will be considered “marital property”, or the property that’s up for debate in a property division case. Property acquired before the marriage, items given as gifts, inheritance, and property acquired in a select few other ways will belong to only one spouse.
When it comes to the actual division of property, Texas is one of the minority of states that’s a community property state. What this means is that every debt or asset that has both spouses’ names on it will be split evenly. If a dollar amount could be assigned to everything you own together or owe together, then that number will be split down the middle. On high-value assets, such as a house, there will be further consideration. Following the house example, if one spouse has custody of the children, they may be more likely to also get the house.
What are the consequences if it’s found that assets were hidden or debts were overstated during divorce proceedings?
This practice is illegal and the attorneys at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. will aggressively pursue action if it is discovered that your ex is concealing assets in order to prevent you from getting what you are owed. In some cases, a person who attempts to conceal assets may be forced to compensate their ex for the full amount of court and attorney fees. If the assets are particularly large or the debt exceedingly overstated, then the offending party may even face criminal charges. If you believe your spouse is trying to force you to pay an unfair share of nonexistent debts or you’re missing out on assets that need to be considered during your divorce proceedings, we will work hard to make sure that you get what you are rightfully owed.
Why should I hire Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P.?
Each and every one of our partners can say they’re certified by the by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for Family Law. We have three principles that make up the cornerstone of our practice, and we bring them to each and every client: hard work, attention to detail, and outstanding service to our clients. We’ve handled it all, from simply mediating low-asset, uncontested divorces to highly contested splits fighting over high-value assets. We are dedicated to speed and efficiency, hoping to give each and every one of our clients a meaningful interaction with any member of our staff that they meet. From the moment you hire us, your case becomes our highest priority.
Contact a San Antonio Attorney Today
Divorces are complicated. One of the most contentious areas of a divorce is property division. The process of deciding who gets which assets is a hot debate, leading to tension between the two parties. If you are going through a divorce and are worried about how your joint assets will be divided, the experienced lawyers at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. are here to help you. Contact our offices at (210) 349-9933 and one of our lawyers will work diligently on your case, providing you with support and guidance throughout the divorce process.