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The Best Lawyers in America and Best Law Firms recognition is by Woodward White, Inc. Woodward White, Inc., in connection with U.S. News and World Report, has recognized Geary, Porter & Donovan, P.C., as a Tier One Law firm in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex with respect to family law for 2018.
What matters in property division and valuation
The law says that the court shall order division of property in a manner that the court deems “just and right”, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage. Only community property is divisible by the court; the court cannot divest a spouse of his/her separate property.
The court will initially presume that all property owned at the time of divorce is community property. A spouse must prove that an item of property is his/her separate property . However, if separate property has been “comingled” to the point that the separate property status cannot be clearly determined, the court will be required to rule that such property is community.
Generally, community property is all property acquired during the marriage. However, exceptions do exist. Some examples of community property may include, wages earned during a marriage, retirement plan contributions, pension plans, 401ks, IRAs, homes, cars, stock options, country club memberships, life insurance and more.
Key Factors that Govern the Division of Property:
- Earning capacity and the ability to support oneself
- Education of the spouses
- Health of the spouses
- The size of a spouse’s separate property estate
- Liabilities of the spouses
- Fraudulent conduct and wasting of assets
- Family violence
- Wrongful conduct