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Complex Property Division

How is Property Divided After a Divorce in Texas?

Before the Texas court can divide your marital estate, it must determine the value of the assets in your marital estate. This could be done by simply looking at the balance of the financial accounts, or it could involve more complex methods such as appraisals of your real estate property or business valuations. The more complex the assets in your marital estate, the more important it is for you to hire an experienced Austin attorney.

For a review of your assets and divorce by a family law specialist, call (512) 948-3688. Our attorneys are Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Can I change a provision in my divorce after it is final?

After your divorce is finalized, you might find it necessary to modify one of the stipulations within the divorce, such as child custody, child support, or property settlement. Changing provisions within your divorce once it is final can be challenging. Your Texas divorce attorney can guide you through the process of filing the necessary motions and providing the needed evidence to support your petition to amend your divorce.

Altering Child Custody or Child Support

Children grow and circumstances concerning custody and child support may change over time. Your spouse may earn a promotion or you could lose your job, requiring reassessment of child support. Your children may have recently started school or taken up a sport, making your current custody schedule unworkable. Recognizing the evolving needs of children and their parents, Texas courts allow either parent to petition for a change in the divorce decree regarding children at any time up until the child graduates from high school. Typically, alterations are only considered once a year, but exceptions can be made for urgent issues.

You will need to initiate your requested modification by petitioning the court for a change in support or child custody, also referred to as conservatorship. While some spouses may consider informally agreeing among themselves to an alteration, this can be risky. Without an official change in the court record, legally child support and custody will be enforced as written in the original decree. Rather than act informally, parents can petition the court to make the change and, with both agreeing to the change, modifications should proceed smoothly.

Changing Property Division

While provisions concerning children can be modified with relative ease, those regarding property division are not so malleable. Division of your property will become final 30 days after the judge has signed the divorce decree. If during the 30 period your realize there has been a mistake with the property settlement, it is critical that you file a motion to amend the decree or a motion for new trial. Exceptional circumstances, such as fraud, may be sufficient to require a court to reopen the issue of property division after the 30-day time limit has expired.

How will our family business be divided in a divorce?

Your business may be your most valuable asset. You have likely spent countless hours building your business. If you and your spouse decide to divorce, dividing the business can present significant issues. It is unlikely you and your spouse can continue to run the business together, so who will get it?
Division of the business will start with an accurate business valuation. You will often need to employ the help of an experienced business valuation specialist who will review your sales, liabilities, growth rate, and much more. Armed with an accurate valuation, you will now have several options. You may wish to offer your spouse an asset of similar value in exchange for keeping sole ownership of the business. You could sell the business, or you could potentially buy your spouse out of the business. Your divorce lawyer will assist you in developing the best course of action for you and the business.

Division of the Marital Estate

Once the court has valued all the assets in your divorce, the court will divide those assets. This will involve the “just and right” division of your assets in accordance with Texas Family Code.

Factors in determining a “just and right” division include:

  • Fault in the breakup of the marriage
  • Benefits that innocent spouse would have derived from the continuation of the marriage
  • Disparity of earning power of the spouses and ability to support themselves
  • Education and future employability of the spouses
  • Community indebtedness and liabilities
  • Business opportunities
  • Size and nature of separate estates of the spouses
  • Need for future support
  • Fraud or breach of fiduciary duty
  • Wasting of community assets by the spouses
  • Claims for reimbursement
  • The parent to whom conservatorship of the child or children is granted

Division of Complex Assets

We are experienced in handling a wide variety of assets in complex property division including:

  • Residential real estate appraisals
  • Commercial real estate appraisals
  • Business valuations
  • Valuation of retirement accounts and pensions
  • Stock options
  • Restricted stock units
  • Tracing of separate property
  • Reimbursement claims
  • Characterization of property
  • Oil and gas interests and royalties
  • Long-term incentive plans

At Stinson Moyle, PLLC, we handle high net worth divorces in Austin, Texas.

Whether you need a skilled negotiator or an experienced legal advocate, contact our team at (512) 948-3688 today to handle your family law case.