The emotional aspects of separating from one’s husband or wife are hard enough during a Texas divorce, but letting go of one’s hard-earned money and personal possessions only makes a separation more difficult to go through. When it comes to property division, there are several common questions that Texas residents tend to ask. Three of the most common are:
— Who decides how much my property is worth?
— Are property division matters always decided by judges?
— How is property usually transferred after the decision is made?
The person who ultimately decides the value of specific property in your divorce is the judge presiding over your divorce. However, the judge will use evidence — like a list of the property and any relevant professional appraisals — to make his or her determination. Before property valuations are finalized, each spouse will be required to identify all property, accounts assets and their values, in addition to any kind of liabilities.
Interestingly, a judge does not always have to be the one who decides how your property will be divided. In fact, divorcing spouses can agree out of court on how to divide property, and the judge will usually approve of those agreements.
When it comes to how the property is ultimately transferred, that will largely depend on the type of property, and sometimes, it is a matter of convenience. Real estate property will require a signed real estate document, retirement accounts and other employee benefits may require an order to the employer, and the divorce decree may also contain orders for banks and financial institutions to divide accounts and transfer funds.
There are virtually an infinite number of ways to divide and transfer property during a divorce. Ultimately, the property division process will depend on the unique couple’s individual wishes and needs, as well as the opinion of the judge who is ruling on the case.
Source: Houston Bar Association Family Law Section, “Family Law Handbook,” accessed April. 07, 2015