A divorce is about splitting property, establishing spousal maintenance and sometimes even restraining orders.
Most divorce cases in Dallas and Collin Counties settle out of court. But, for a peaceful resolution, you must go into it with a trial mindset. Being ready for trial means PREPARING FOR WAR. The best way to stay out of a divorce trial is to be prepared for a divorce trial. You do this by gathering as much information as you can. The more work you do on the front end, the easier the actual process will be. Robert Thornton can guide you through this and he will show you where to focus your efforts. He takes the mystery out of the misery.
To seek your peaceful resolution, you must know what you and your spouse own together. Such property is community property. That is the property that was acquired during the marriage. It does not matter under whose name the property is titled. It is a timing thing. If either spouse acquired the property during the marriage, it is presumed community property.
As soon as you can, you must gather things like mortgage papers, receipts, documents for storage units and safe deposit boxes, and bank documents.
Gifts, inheritance, and personal injury settlements are separate property. If you have separate property, you are going to have to prove it. This is because Texas Family Law presumes all property owned at the time of the divorce to be community property until proven otherwise. So, get your documents together. Get in touch with any witnesses who know anything about your property.
The largest asset is usually the house. If the house is community property, the value of the house will be split. The easiest option is for the spouse who will remain in the house to refinance and cash out the leaving spouse. If the remaining spouse does not have the credit or means to maintain the house, and both parties are leaving it, the house must be sold. If there is equity, it will be split evenly between the spouses. Things get complicated with the house when children are involved. There may be a desire for the children to remain in the home that they know. Also, you may want for the children to remain in their current school district. If the parent with primary custody is to stay in the house, but cannot afford it, that will be worked into the overall deal. One way of dealing with that situation is to let the primary parent stay in the house with the kids until they leave home. Then the home is sold, and proceeds split at that time.
Most people agree on personal property and furniture. Artwork of value will have to be appraised and divided according to the appraisals. Objects of sentimental value will have to be negotiated.
If a spouse starts a business or enters into a partnership during the marriage, those assets and interests will be divided in the divorce. Sole proprietor property will be split. In terms of partnerships, the court will divide up the interest that the partner/spouse has in the business.
Of course, cash on hand will be divided.
Texas family law presumes that all marital assets should be divided evenly. It does not have to be this way. One spouse can assert a fault in the marriage. The most common fault I am asked about is adultery. If you can prove adultery, you can get more than half of the marital property. Other faults under Texas family law are cruelty, abandonment, living apart, conviction of a felony and confinement in a mental hospital.
Otherwise, the divorce will be granted on insupportability. What is that?
Insupportability is a ground to grant a divorce in Dallas, Collin or any other county in Texas. It means the marriage has become insupportable because of a discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.
Robert Thornton has 13 years’ experience as a divorce attorney in Dallas and Collin County Texas. He will use his knowledge and passion to help you get the best possible outcome for your individual situation. Call him today for a free consultation.