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Where do we start in dividing property as we divorce?

When you embark on the process of divorcing, you learn that you will have to divide property. While this might seem like it is an easy feat, it is often more complicated that you might realize. It is important that you understand how the property division process works in Texas so that you can determine how you should assert your wishes during property division.

What should I do first?

The first thing you will have to do is to make a list of all the property you own. This includes anything that is valuable, such as homes, cars, bank accounts, inheritances, retirement accounts and investments. This gives you a starting point so you can determine who is entitled to what.

How should we classify assets?

Generally, you will have to classify assets as either marital property or separate property. Certain items, such as an inheritance, some gifts if they are given only to one spouse, and personal injury settlements might fall under the separate property category. Anything that you acquired during the marriage is considered marital property. When classifying assets, it is important to understand certain caveats about inheritances, so if this applies to you, seek out answers about how to classify the items.

Where do we go from there?

Once you have the property classified, you can work toward determining how to divide marital property. You should make sure that you are aware of the value of the property so that you can try to ensure you get a settlement that helps you as you start your new single life.

Source: Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, "Dividing Property during Divorce," Tracy B. Stewart, accessed June 04, 2015

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