The division of marital property during divorce proceedings requires expert handling so that neither party feels shortchanged. A law firm that understands complex property divorce law is best suited to ensure equitable distribution of items.
Call Alex R. Hernandez Jr. 1-888-HDZLAW-8 361-792-3811 512-640-4099
We know divorces can be complicated
Divorces often occur a long time after couples have accumulated items and property together. Some aspects of property settlement are easily handled. For example, you can put a value to real property and jewelry; however, a fair distribution of assets such as vehicles, stocks and shares, and books can be tricky. If you are facing a divorce in Texas, then Alex R. Hernandez Jr. can help you.
A divorce that involves division of business ownership and larger assets can lead to nearly unavoidable strife between the two parties. You need to have a lawyer who has the knowledge to protect your rights by your side. Texas follows community property laws, which means that all property except separate property has to be divided between the two. We have the expertise and also access to experts in economics and business valuation. Valuation, especially of intangible assets, requires knowledge and the acumen to present the case so that a fair and accurate division can be negotiated.
Regardless of whether your case involves corporate assets, residential and commercial property, ranches, inheritance, stock options, or pensions, we can assure you that your case will be handled according to its merit.
There are a number of legal matters that the presiding judge has to consider. It is the lawyer’s job to ensure that the judge gets your side of the story. Matters can get complicated if a spouse claims property to be separate and not subject to community property laws. Spousal support and child support are other things to consider. Prenuptial agreements too need minute study.
Our lawyers are experienced in evaluating, negotiating, and litigating property division in divorce cases.
We deal with complex division of community property: Texas law defines community property as all of the property that either spouse acquires during the marriage, except separate property. Separate property is anything one spouse owned prior to marriage, property inherited by only one spouse, property received as a gift by only one spouse, and recoveries for personal injuries sustained by only one spouse, except for the portion of the award intended to compensate for lost earnings during the marriage.All property is presumed to be community property, unless and until the party claiming that it is separate property can prove it by a preponderance of the evidence.
If you own an asset that is separate and you wish to keep it free from division, then we can help you prove that the asset is indeed separate. Gifts and inheritances given to one spouse, and property owned before marriage and kept separate are common examples of separate property. If you’ve been compensated for a personal injury, then that money remains your own and your spouse cannot lay a claim to it. However, compensation for loss of wages is treated as community property. There are many more complex property issues.
The first step in developing a property settlement agreement is to identify all of the marital assets and obtain a proper valuation of those assets, including:
- Family home(s)
- Real estate
- Personal Property
- IRAs and SEPs
- Pension Plans
- Tax Implications
- Stocks and stock options
- Cash value life insurance
- Retirement Assets
Tax Implications of Property Division
If you and your spouse have a large, complex estate, it is essential to work with a family attorney who has experience handling the division of complex marital assets. Different assets will have significantly different tax consequences upon division, cash-out, or sale. It is important to understand the tax implications early in the property negotiation process so that an equitable property agreement can be reached. We do not give tax advice, but we work closely with your accountant or financial advisor.
Pension Plans and 401Ks: Will you split a retirement plan or a 401K, accept a lump sum payment, or share in actual payments upon reaching retirement age? What are the requirements for an employer-administered pension plan? Is a QDRO (qualified domestic relations order) needed to protect you from incurring taxes that should be the responsibility of your ex-spouse? We will thoroughly review the requirements of your pension plan to ensure these issues are considered.
IRAs: Some IRAs provide nontaxable income. Distributions from other types of IRAs, 401Ks, and from all pension plans will be at least partly taxable. We ensure the tax burden has been thoroughly analyzed before a settlement agreement is reached so that you are not unfairly penalized.
Marital Residence: Will you incur capital gains tax when selling your residence? Given the emotional turmoil surrounding a divorce, few people think of the tax consequences of the sale of a home, but we do. We protect our client’s interest in the rollover of capital gains from the immediate or deferred sale of a home.
Generally, courts aren’t inclined to bar one spouse from the marital home. In most instances, courts will order the parties to “tough it out” and continue to live with each other until their case is fully litigated (resolved in court). When there are disputes over the marital home in a divorce, many courts will order that the home be sold and any profits divided between the spouses; the precise division may also be decided by the court. Alternatively, the court may order that one spouse buy out the other one’s interest in the home. If so, courts will likely order the selling spouse to leave the marital home within a reasonable time after the buyout. We help divorce clients deal with complexity of handling these marital home issues and protect our client’s interests.
Business Buy-Out: Properly valuing a business is only the first step. How the buy-out is structured will determine whether it is taxable at the ordinary income rate or the lower capital gains rate.
We work with financial experts to document and value marital assets, so we thoroughly understand your current financial situation. This allows us to enter divorce negotiations with the information needed to secure your fair share.
Call us today at 888-HDZLAW-8 to discuss your divorce options.
Corpus Christi 361-792-3811 Austin 512-640-4099 San Antonio 201-960-9008 Victoria 361-575-3101