In Texas divorce, the court divides all marital property fairly between spouses. Marital property is any asset that couples acquire while married, so if you invested in real estate after exchanging your vows, chances are they’ll be up for division upon your separation.
Texas divorce laws
Texas divorce laws aim to ensure that both spouses receive a fair share in the divorce settlement that can help them kickstart their lives after divorce on a relatively equal footing. This is why among the many factors that the judge considers during separation, they’ll also look at the lifestyle couples were accustomed to in marriage.
So even if you invested in your real estate before your marriage, its growth in value during the time you were together with your spouse may be subject to division. Also, if you inherited that property and later used your income to improve it, it may become part of the marital estate through commingling.
Dividing real estate portfolio
The first step to dividing a real estate portfolio is finding its most accurate value and determining which part is subject to division. This can take some time and may be a complex process, depending on the specifics of your marital portfolio. But factors such as the current market value, the type of property and its associated expenses, the length of your marriage, contributions to the portfolio, etc., will all play a part in the court’s determination of how to divide it.
There are four main ways in which the split can go:
1. You can sell the property and divide the proceeds fairly according to your marital circumstances
2. You can both maintain the property and go on sharing the benefits and expenses
3. One of you can take ownership of the property and pay the other spouse a certain amount in compensation
4. You can both agree to transfer or swap some other asset in exchange for the real estate portfolio
Whatever solution you choose, it’s essential to make sure that you get a court order confirming any agreement regarding your real estate investments so that there is no risk of either misrepresenting the value of property or assets down the line. Nonetheless, understanding your rights, options and how the law works before making any decisions can help you protect your real estate investments and make informed choices regarding your financial future.