Divorce Finance Questions Answered

by Ricardo Barrera

People who go through a divorce for the first time inevitably have a lot of questions about it and particularly how it will affect their financial status. And that’s not surprising.  Divorce is, after all, a process that will permanently change your life as well as the lives of your spouse and (if you have them) children.

Here are some questions we at the Barrera Law Firm often get asked about the money side of divorce along with some answers that you may find helpful:

1. What if I bought a house into the marriage that was in my name only and then added my spouse’s name to the deed?
Texas is a community property state which means that those assets and income acquired during the marriage belong to both partners, so long as they were not acquired through gift or inheiritiance. In this situation, the whole house may be considered marital property and the contributions made to the equity of the house may be at issue regarding the ownership interest.

2. If my IRA is in my name alone, is it still considered marital property?
Everything acquired during the marriage and regardless of whose name it’s in is presumed to be community property. As you go through the process, it’s wise for you to evaluate the financial drawbacks to having your IRA included in the list of assets you retain after your divorce. Whatever you decide to do, you must remember that the funds in an IRA cannot be accessed before age 59 1/2 without paying a 10% penalty for early withdrawal.

3. If I am appointed the custodial parent of my children, do I get to keep the house?
The answer to this question depends on the situation. You will need to figure out whether or not you will have enough money coming in to stay comfortable in the home and pay all bills without feeling overextended. Once you have determined this, then you will need to see whether or not retaining the home is advisable if it means that you must give up other assets-such as liquid accounts and retirement plans-to do so. Ultimately, the court will decide that issue, taking into account a just and right division of the property and taking into account the best interest of the child in remaining in a stable and consistent environment.

The Barrera Law Firm understand the confusion that many of our clients experience regarding the financial aspects of marital dissolution. That’s why when you consult with us, we’ll carefully go over the details of your case to help you make the best decisions. For legal advice on divorce, contact us today!



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