Filing for divorce in Texas will bring up questions of property division. While the parties might agree on child custody and other matters, the distribution of wealth does not come as easily. Asset protection could be in your best interest.
Know what you have and what you owe
Before meeting for the property division negotiations, know what you have. What is yours, what belongs to your soon-to-be-ex, and what do you hold jointly? Examples include:
• Earnings and business income
• Investment income
• Debts of all kinds
Decide your bottom line
When filing for dissolution of marriage, there is typically no need to divide everything down the middle. If you have some assets that you are willing to let go, make these negotiation chips. Conversely, if you have assets you want to keep, make a note of it and develop a strategy with your attorney.
Know the likely pain points
It is interesting to note that some property division decisions can actually result in future problems. Cases in point are tax liabilities. Examples include future capital gains and stock options. Your attorney may pull in an accountant to help you think through the long-term implications of keeping or relinquishing specific assets.
You may be better off selling specific assets while the marriage is still intact. Another option that appeals to participants in “gray” divorce is to transfer ownership of specific assets to children. It may prevent the capital gains issue and could also help with death taxes in the future.
If you are currently thinking about divorce and subsequent property division, it may be beneficial to discuss your thoughts with a lawyer.