Asset & Debt Division in Texas Divorces
How Do Texas Courts Divide Assets and Debts in a Divorce?
If a couple cannot agree on the terms of their property and liability (or debt) division, the court will have the final say concerning the division of assets and debts. Texas is a community property state, which means that marital assets and debts will be divided justly, and any assets and debts that a couple acquires after their marriage is considered marital property and is subject to division.
Dividing assets in a way that is just and right does not always mean dividing assets 50-50. The court will consider various factors when dividing marital (or community) property and debts, including:
- Each party’s financial standing
- Each party’s business opportunities and earning capacity
- Each party’s age
- The size of each party’s separate estates
- The type and nature of the property in question
Hidden Assets & Falsified Debts
To achieve a more favorable outcome, some people attempt to hide or conceal assets from their spouse and court; in hiding the assets, they hope to avoid having to divide or lose the asset during the divorce. However, hiding assets is illegal, and if you want to have more control over what happens to assets, you should consider divorce mediation or collaborative divorce. In both processes, the divorcing couple works to agree to settlement terms, including the terms of their asset and debt division.
Another way people try to increase the assets they receive or lessen the debt the court assigns to them is to claim they have more or a higher amount of debt than they really have. During your divorce, you and the other party will be required to complete certain financial disclosures. In these disclosures, each party must reveal financial information, including but not limited to:
- Income tax returns
- W-2s or 1099 forms
- Schedule K-1 documents
- Health and medical insurance policy and benefit information
- Information concerning property deeds and liens
- Their current rent or mortgage payments
- Retirement or pension plan statements
- Account statements from savings and checking accounts, credit card accounts, credit unions, etc.
To achieve better terms in the asset and debt division process, either party may try to doctor or falsify information shared in these disclosures. If you are worried your partner will hide assets or lie about their financial information, you should inform your attorney and consider hiring a forensic accountant.
The attorneys at The Clark Law Firm have the skills and experience needed to help you understand your rights and provide tailored counsel concerning property and debt division. To discuss your case with a member of our team, complete our online form or call (817) 435-4970.