Property Division in Houston Divorces: Common Complications that Can Arise
Houston divorces involve property division. The assets and debts of a divorcing couple are classified as marital or separate property. Separate properties are not subject to division but marital properties need to be equitably distributed between both spouses. The majority of properties acquired during the course of a marriage are marital properties, with some exceptions. Typically, exceptions include property acquired through inheritance or gift from another party or acquired with separate assets.
Family courts determine what is equitable to each spouse based on their specific circumstances and their case’s facts. However, because of the complications that may arise in property division, it is important for spouses to consult with an experienced Houston family attorney who can help them understand how the related legal processes work. These complications include the following:
Complex Property Appraisals and Valuations
Certain kinds of property are not easy to appraise and value. In such cases, the assets’ value might fluctuate dramatically in market value. Or it can be hard to look for an experienced appraiser to help determine the value of a certain asset. Thus, divorcing couples must work with an attorney with experience in handling complex assets in divorces. Hidden Assets
Dividing properties equitably can be hard when a spouse tries to hide divisible marital assets. An attorney may need to hire a forensic accountant to trace hidden assets and make sure they are properly valued and divided during a divorce.
If marital and separate properties are comingled, it can be hard to determine the percentage of marital and separate property. Only marital assets are subject to division. There are many ways properties can be comingled such as by increasing the value of a separate asset during the marriage through both spouses’ work or investing in separate assets into marital assets such as a vacation home or a primary residence.
Prenuptial Agreement Enforceability
A prenuptial agreement can be utilized to exclude some assets or debts from the division when a couple decides to get a divorce. But for this exclusion to be possible, the prenup needs to be enforceable. Enforceability issues can arise because of duress or other relevant issues. A family attorney is well-versed in prenuptial agreements and aware of the common complications that can arise in them. They can help couples address and resolve these complications. If you have concerns regarding complex property division or are worried your spouse is hiding assets, a skilled attorney can help you.
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