Characterization of Separate and Community Property in Texas

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Determining and dividing ownership to meet your goals.

Marriage isn’t only an emotional partnership, but a financial one, too. When it dissolves in divorce, you will have to divide your assets and debts. It is more complicated than merely splitting them in half. At Goranson Bain Ausley, our goal is to help you do so in a way that sets you on a path toward the future.

How is Marital Property Identified and Characterized?

Generally, the property you accumulate during the marriage belongs to both you and your spouse – this is known as community property. The property you owned before marriage – or acquired through a gift or inheritance – is your separate property.

This may seem straightforward. However, when you claim something as your separate property, you must be able to prove it. And, if separate property is commingled with community property, proving separate ownership becomes more difficult. We’re here to help you understand how to prove ownership of your separate property, even in the most complex of circumstances.

What is Discovery and the Disclosure of Assets? 

Discovery is the process by which you and your spouse request and exchange financial information about all your assets and debts – something you’re required to do as part of your divorce. This is usually done by exchanging sworn inventories of all the assets and debts known to you.

The discovery process may be informal and voluntary, or it might involve financial affidavits, depositions, and the subpoena of records. We’ll guide you through the process to make sure you – and we – have all the information needed to clearly assess your financial situation and move forward with dividing your assets.

What Qualifies as Marital Assets?

As part of the discovery process, our team will conduct an in-depth evaluation of your marital property by inventorying assets such as:

  • Real estate
  • Personal belongings, jewelry, art, antiques, and unique items
  • Motor vehicles and boats
  • Securities and bonds, pensions and annuities, retirement accounts
  • Trusts and brokerage accounts
  • Family-owned businesses, interests in business entities, closely-held corporations, or partnerships
  • Intellectual property, electronic data, or property
  • Reimbursement claims

How is Property Valued?

As you might expect, valuing assets such as stocks and bonds is very different to valuing property such as jewelry or wine. So when placing a value on what you have, we consult with professionals including appraisers, tracing experts, real estate agents, accountants, and experts in unique items.

Once we’ve determined the value of your marital estate, we help you assess your current and future financial needs so that we can start making decisions about what assets will benefit you the most after your divorce. We understand that many items are more important due to their sentimental value and will strategize ways to preserve these items during the property division.

A Future-Focused Strategy with a Goranson Bain Ausley Divorce Lawyer

With our experience in dividing complicated assets and marital estates, you can trust that our Dallas, Austin and Plano based lawyers will help you work towards creating an effective strategy tailored to your individual circumstances. We take care to understand your current financial needs as well as your future goals and help you to create a roadmap to secure the assets you will need to meet them.

When dividing complicated assets and marital estates, it comes down to goals, strategy, and experience. You can trust that Goranson Bain Ausley attorneys will strive to devise an effective approach tailored to your individual circumstances. We take care to understand your current financial needs as well as your projections for the future. With knowledge gained from successfully dividing countless estates, we will help you work towards securing the assets you need for today and tomorrow. Contact us today.

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