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Marlene Dancer Adams

~Divorce - Family Law - Mediation~

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The Texas Family Code states that community property is to be divided in a “just and right” manner, which is generally construed by parties as a 50/50% basis. However, there are factors that can move the split to a disproportionate share to one spouse, as follows:

• fault in the breakup of the marriage;
• benefits the innocent spouse may have derived from the continuation of the marriage;
• disparity of earning power of the spouses and their ability to support themselves;
• education and future employability of the spouses;
• community indebtedness and liabilities;
• tax consequences of the division of property;
• ages of the spouses;
• earning power, business opportunities, capacities, and abilities of the spouses;
• need for future support;
• nature of the property involved in the division;
• wasting of community assets by the spouses;
• increase in value of separate property through community efforts by time, talent, labor, and effort;
• attorney’s fees to be paid;
• creation of community property through the use of a spouse’s separate estate; and
• the size and nature of the separate estates of the spouses.

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The Texas Family Code divides property into two categories, community property and separate property. Community property is based on the presumption that property acquired during the marriage belongs to the parties. Separate property is property that is acquired by one spouse through gift, inheritance, personal injury settlement (not lost wages), or property that can be traced to separate funds such as funds acquired before marriage and not co-mingled with community property.

Property Division In Divorce

The process of determining the division of property begins with valuing the property. The method of valuing the property will be determined by the nature of the property. As an example, the marital residence can be appraised to determine its value, while a business may require accumulating records for many years in the past, such as corporate and personal tax returns, title documents to determine the owner (ie, the business or the spouses), inventories, deed records and then having a forensic CPA do a comprehensive analysis. 

Other Divorce Considerations Include But Are Not Limited To
• Paternity; 
• Non-Marital Cohabitation; 
• Military Divorce; 
• Family and Domestic Violence; 
• Parental Kidnapping; 
• Child Abuse; 
• Relocation; 
• Characterization of Property; 
• Retirement Plans; 
• Tracing Assets; 
• Business Valuation; 
• Alternate Dispute Resolution - Collaborative Family Law and Family Law Mediation.