Many couples begin the divorce process with some misconceptions about property division. In most cases, property division is a pretty straightforward process. However, there are certain aspects of some marriages that can make the process a bit more difficult. Regardless of how informed and confident you feel about the divorce and property division process, it is always best to stay informed of your rights and the law by working with an experienced divorce attorney.
Property division during divorce is exactly what it sounds like; the dividing up of marital property so that spouses may assume ownership of their belongings after divorce. Each state has their specific interpretation of what is considered marital property and how it should be divided in a divorce. Here in Texas, community property rules state that all property acquired during a marriage is considered marital property and should be divided equally between both spouses. Sounds simple enough, yet there are several situations where this rule can deviate.
One of the biggest exceptions to basic property division is in the case of a business. When one spouse owns a business and has had ownership since before the marriage, they may be under the assumption that the business is exempt from property division. This, however, is not entirely correct. In some cases, a business’s value, if it has increased over the course of the marriage, may be subject to property division. This is especially true if the value increase has anything to do with contributions made by both spouses.
The definition of what constitutes a contribution can be relatively straightforward or a bit more subtle. Identifying these contributions may be difficult without the help of a legal professional. Working with an attorney can help divorcing spouses protect their business and financial well-being.