Divorce can be a complicated process, especially when it comes to splitting up assets. It’s generally not as easy as a literal half and half, especially when complicated money matters are at the heart of your holdings.
Texas is a community property state, which means that there are definite lines drawn for what property will be on the chopping block in a divorce. Even complex matters like pensions, retirement accounts and investments will typically need to undergo the process of division.
Halving it all
Texas law spells out how to get your share of investments:
- Assign: Separate property usually falls under the ownership of one person, and won’t be split in the process, but retirement benefits earned by one party doesn’t always fall under this category. While retirement funds and investment that began before marriage may have started as separate, accounts that gained value during the marriage may contribute to community property.
- Value: Everything will need a price tag for accuracy, and this usually means finding the fair market value of the asset at the time of the divorce. Even if things aren’t getting split down the middle, the judge may need to know how to offset large possessions going from one side to another.
- Divide: Once the courts assign assets to you and your partner, you may have to go to your spouse’s employer to inform them of any decisions about splitting benefits. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) will spell out exactly how a retirement plan or pension is getting shared, and you’ll typically receive payments the same as your partner going forward.
Make sure the courts get your share of assets right. Though accounts can be wind through community property and change in value over time, you’ll want to get an accurate number before you go ahead with assigning amounts.