Mixed Property in Divorce
Many married couples adopt the attitude “what’s mine is yours” with respect to their property. While that expression arises out of good intentions, there are key differences with respect to how the law treats separate and community property, and, if a couple mingles their assets, it can be complicated to determine how they should be divided if they divorce. If you want to end your marriage, it is crucial to understand how your assets will be divided, and you should speak to an attorney. The assertive Dallas divorce lawyers of McClure Law Group have ample experience dealing with mixed property in divorce matters, and, if you hire us, we can help you fight for a just and right division of your assets.Characterization of Property in Texas Divorces
In Texas divorces, property is characterized as either community or separate. The Texas Family Code presumes that any asset acquired by either spouse during a marriage is community property. There are some exceptions to the presumption, however, such as damages awarded in a personal injury case that do not represent lost wages and property given as a gift or received through devise or descent. Other property, such as that obtained prior to the marriage or expressly indicated as the sole property of one party through a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement, is also considered separate property. A party that argues an asset is their separate property must prove their position with clear and convincing evidence.Dividing Mixed Property in Divorce
In Texas divorces, any community asset is subject to division in a way the court deems fair and just, while separate property remains separate. Problems can arise when parties commingle separate and community assets, however. For example, if one spouse sells a separate property and uses the proceeds to make a down payment on a jointly owned home that the couple then proceeds to pay for together, the parties will likely disagree as to whether the home is a community or mixed asset.
A party arguing that a property is separate must trace and clearly demonstrate the separate nature of the asset. When dealing with mixed property in divorce, Texas courts employ the inception-of-title rule. In other words, they characterize a property by evaluating when and how a party first obtained an interest in the property. As such, if a person obtains a house prior to getting married, it will remain separate after the wedding, even if they exchange it for another asset.
In some cases, the Texas Family Code allows a party to file a claim for reimbursement. In other words, they can seek compensation for using their separate property to pay for their spouse’s separate liabilities or community debts, or using community property to pay for their spouse’s separate liabilities. Claims for reimbursement cannot be pursued for living expenses, child support or spousal maintenance, or for nominal amounts.Speak to a Knowledgeable Dallas Attorney About Your Divorce
The division of assets can be one of the most challenging aspects of ending a marriage, and, when parties mingle separate and joint assets, it can be especially difficult. If you have concerns regarding mixed property in divorce, it is in your best interest to seek the advice of an attorney. The knowledgeable Dallas lawyers of McClure Law Group have ample experience handling complicated divorce matters, and, if we represent you, we will employ our skills and resources to help you seek the best result possible under the facts of your case. We represent people in divorce proceedings in Dallas, Rockwall, Fort Worth, Frisco, Irving, McKinney, Richardson, and Garland. We also help parties with family-law matters in cities in Dallas, Rockwall, Collin, Denton, Tarrant, and Grayson Counties. You can contact us through our online form or by calling 214.692.8200 to set up a meeting.