You’ve worked hard to build the life that you have. If you and your spouse decide to get a divorce, it may seem like all those years of hard work will go down the drain. Since Houston courts will strive for equitable distribution in the event of a divorce, it is important to understand that your spouse will have a right to half of almost every asset and property that was accumulated during the marriage. In order to protect the valuables that you desire most, you need to go through your belongings and determine what is separate property and what is community property. Also, if you both are not divorcing, you might want to consider the benefits of a postnuptial agreement. With the aid of a Houston divorce lawyer at your side, you can take the necessary steps to protect your assets.
Community property is property that was acquired during the course of the marriage, with a few exceptions. Separate property are assets acquired before or after the marriage. In Houston, community property can include: any pieces of property that you both purchased together, retirement accounts, accumulation in pensions, 401ks, etc. This may seem overwhelming considering that community property covers a lot of what you own, but keep in mind that separate property cannot be touched. Any money that you had saved prior to the marriage, gifts that you have received (including wedding rings), and inheritance can be kept. By being able to distinguish between these two types of properties in your household, you will have a greater understanding of what will stay or go in the event of a divorce. This way, there are no surprises and you can begin to determine which properties and assets are most important to you.
By understanding what you would want out of a divorce, the knowledge of which property is which will help you determine how you would want a postnuptial agreement to look. Of course, such an agreement must still be considered equitable for your spouse. If the agreement seems astronomically disproportionate in benefits, your former spouse may be able to have the courts overrule the postnuptial agreement. In terms of speaking with your spouse, let them know that a postnuptial agreement is great because it protects both of you. In hiring an experienced divorce lawyer, you and your former spouse will be able to create a postnuptial agreement that you both are happy with.