Division of Assets Information

During the divorce process, the assets of the parties must be divided. The Texas Family Code creates a statutory presumption that all property possessed by either spouse during or upon dissolution of marriage is community property. The presumption of community property causes the determination of the character of the property to be complex. If one or the other of the spouses possessed property prior to the marriage such as a home, rental property, investment property and so on, and continued to possess the property during the marriage, a detailed examination must be made to determine its current state at the time of the divorce.

This can be done through asset and title tracing, or agreement between the spouses. To further complicate the property division questions, if the assets of the marriage, such as money or savings and the like were used to enhance or maintain the property that was possessed by one of the spouses prior to marriage, analysis must be made to determine if reimbursement is required.

These issues involve not only real property but brokerage accounts and bank accounts that one spouse or the other may have had before the marriage. These valuations are complex and require legal teams comfortable in that arena with the knowledge and access to other experts, such as Forensic Accountants, CPAs, Financial Planners, Business Appraisers, Real Estate Appraisers and the like to successfully negotiate a fair resolution. The association of counsel able to examine these questions is paramount to reaching an equitable conclusion.

Division And Distribution Of Retirement Benefits

Divorce can changes the course of plans a couple has prepared for their retirement. The division and distribution of assets includes retirement accounts, annuities, 401K plans, pensions and deferred compensation plans to name a few. The analysis of retirement issues must consider depending on the type of plan the present value, the future value, and any restrictions on when the retirement may be exercised.

These retirement type plans are again complicated by when the retirement plan was created, - - before the marriage, or during the marriage. Once the origination date of the plan is determined, an analysis of the plan must be made to determine value and future benefits to the parties.

The final division of some types of retirement plans require the drafting of complex legal instruments generally referred to as Qualified Domestic Relations Orders. These order are designed to allow a party to transfer some or all of the benefits awarded without certain types of tax implications. Showalter Law Firm recommends its clients to secure complete tax advice from their personal tax planner who knows the details of their financial goals as each individuals interest in that area is unique. Showalter Law Firm does not engage in tax planning, but will refer a client to appropriate experts to assist in that area if the client does not presently have a tax planner.

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