One of the most highly contested areas in a divorce is property division. When you and your spouse cannot see eye to eye on who gets to keep a certain asset, the Texas family courts will divide all your community property for you.
The court will determine a just and fair distribution based on several factors, including the length of the marriage, the contribution of each spouse to the shared estate, and each spouse’s financial position after the divorce. It will review all the evidence and supporting documentation that the parties involved will present in the courtroom. If you want to make sure that there will be no mistakes or unfavorable verdicts, it might be wise to stay on top of things.
Inventory your assets comprehensively
A marriage will consist of separate and community property. Some couples will have more assets than others, which can complicate things. You need to know where your community property begins and ends. It is vital to establish what is indeed subject to the division process. If you suspect your spouse is concealing valuable financial information or assets, you can use the discovery process in the divorce to investigate them further. By identifying and organizing each property you own, you can prevent the other party from taking advantage of you.
Have a professional appraise your assets accurately
Assets like jewelry, art, real estate and stock options can increase in value over time. Deciding their worth based on their face value would be a mistake. You might also be surprised to learn that some assets are worth less than you initially expected, and some come with liabilities and tax repercussions.
A valuation expert can help you appraise your assets. A professional appraiser for an art collection will be different from a real estate appraiser. Their expertise can help you obtain the actual value of your property. They understand how assets appreciate or depreciate over time. They can research and calculate the current market price and assign an accurate valuation. You must know how much your assets are factually worth to ensure an equitable settlement.
Learn how to negotiate effectively
Now that you know the actual value and the extent of your marital property, you are ready to negotiate a fair and just settlement agreement. Negotiating is not for the faint of heart. Each decision can affect the next. You should know what matters most to your former spouse and how to use essential information to keep what matters most to you.