Compensation in Divorce
In many divorce matters, finances are the primary source of contention. Specifically, a couple ending their marriage will often argue over what property should be divided and whether alimony is owed. A significant component of determining how to disburse marital property and resolve other financial disputes appropriately is the compensation each party has earned throughout the marriage and will earn in the future. If you or your spouse intend to divorce, it is prudent to speak to an attorney to discuss how compensation in divorce could impact your case's outcome. The diligent Dallas divorce attorneys of McClure Law Group possess the knowledge and experience needed to help people achieve just results, and if we represent you, we will work tirelessly to help you pursue the best outcome available.Compensation and Property Division
In Texas, any property that either party acquires during a marriage is presumed to be community property, with few exceptions. Compensation awarded in a personal injury lawsuit would be one such exception unless it was meant to reimburse an injured party for a loss of income. Community property is considered the property of both spouses and will generally be divided as the court deems fair. Notably, community property includes any compensation a party received for working during the marriage.
While in many cases determining the value of compensation in divorce is a straightforward process, in some cases, it can be complicated. For example, if either spouse is paid via non-cash methods, it can be difficult to ascertain the full extent of his or her income. Such methods may include deferred compensation plans, restricted stock options, and employee stock purchase plans. Similarly, if compensation includes contributions to a retirement plan, the proceeds of the plan may be considered community property as well, depending on when they were made. Assessing the value of non-cash compensation and whether it should be considered separate or community property is an intricate process that often requires the assistance of a forensic accounting expert.Compensation and Spousal Support
Compensation in divorce also directly impacts whether a party is entitled to or must pay spousal support. Under Texas law, spousal support may be awarded in certain circumstances, such as when the parties have been married for ten or more years, and the spouse seeking support lacks sufficient property and income upon divorce to provide for his or her needs. It is presumed that this type of spousal support is not warranted. The presumption can be rebutted, however, if parties seeking support can establish that they will lack sufficient property upon divorce and have persistently attempted to earn sufficient income to provide for their minimum needs or have tried to develop the skills necessary to do so.
If a court finds that support is warranted, it will order periodic payments to be made to one party based on the other party's future income. Thus, what compensation both parties currently earn and will earn in the future is a primary factor a court will assess in determining whether to award support. It will also be considered in determining what amount of support should be granted and how long it should be paid. Specifically, a court will look at each spouse's financial resources, including any compensation, as well as the ability of the spouse seeking support to earn an income, in assessing an appropriate amount.Meet With a Seasoned Dallas Attorney
Arguments over money are the downfall of many marriages, and financial disputes often extend throughout the divorce process. If you or your spouse wish to end your marriage, it is prudent to meet with a divorce lawyer to discuss how the compensation earned by you or your spouse may affect the dissolution of your marriage. The seasoned Dallas lawyers of McClure Law Group are proficient at handling complicated divorce matters, and we will develop compelling arguments to help you pursue the best outcome available under the facts of your case. Our main office is in Dallas, and we are also available to meet for consultations at our Collin County office in Plano. We represent people regularly in divorce matters in Dallas, Rockwall, Fort Worth, Richardson, Garland, McKinney, Irving, and Frisco. We also assist people with other family law matters in cities throughout Dallas, Rockwall, Denton, Grayson, Collin, and Tarrant Counties. You can reach us through our form online or at 214.692.8200 to schedule a meeting.