Divorce Disputes: Division of Property
Divorce can be a very challenging legal matter. It can involve a lot of disagreements regarding many subjects, such as child custody, spousal support, and division of property. Though it can be said that child custody is the most emotional subject, you shouldn’t disregard division of property, because it is your assets and liabilities we are talking about here.
How Properties Are Divided
But how are properties divided during a divorce? They are divided in two ways – community property and equitable distribution. The way will depend on your state. For example, according to the website of Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, Texas is a community property state. This means that Texas family courts utilize the rules of community property when it comes to property division.
What is community property and equitable distribution anyway? In community property, all marital properties will be distributed equally between you and your spouse. You and your spouse will also be able to keep properties that solely belong to their rightful owner, like gifts and inheritances.
In equitable distribution, the properties are divided in a way that is just, meaning the spouses will receive their rightful portion. Unlike community property, the division of properties is usually uneven, to favor a spouse that has contributed more to the accumulation and acquisition of these properties.
Community property and equitable distribution have advantages and disadvantages over the other, like how community property can result into unfair division for the person who has contributed more and how equitable distribution can put one spouse at a serious financial standing decline.
How to Protect Yourself from Unfair Division
But to avoid problems, it is best to have a prenuptial agreement. This is a document that can state what will happen in the event of a divorce, including how the properties will be divided. For example, in a prenuptial agreement, you can state which of your properties are not considered marital, so in the event of a divorce, your spouse will not have a financial right over these properties.
Also, you can protect your children from another marriage. During a divorce, your properties may unfairly be given to your second ex-spouse, so nothing will be left for your children from another marriage. You can use a prenuptial agreement to ensure that all your children will benefit.
Having a prenuptial agreement may sound insensitive, because even before the marriage, you are already assuming that you and your partner are going to separate. But that is merely an impression. You are just ensuring that you and your children will not get the short end of the stick, when a divorce does occur.