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Property division pitfalls in an uncontested divorce

Couples in Texas who are considering ending their marriages may decide to get them over and done quickly in order to moved forward with their respective single futures. However, although it is true that uncontested divorces are less time-consuming and less costly than litigated divorces, there may be unanticipated pitfalls along the way. For example, property division in a community property state such as Texas involves much more than just keeping the assets each spouse brought into the marriage.

What about the assets that were accumulated during the marriage? In an uncontested divorce, the spouses must agree on all crucial issues typical in most break-ups. This includes child custody, visitation or parenting plans, spousal support, property division, and more. Although state-provided forms are available, there may be standard entries included, such as one stating that both spouses agree to give up their rights to spousal support, which may not suit both parties.

Under community property law, each spouse is entitled to half of all assets acquired during marriage. This includes real property, along with half of the earnings of the spouses between the marriage date and the separation date. Agreeing to walk away from all of that may be detrimental to a person's post-divorce financial stability.

Even in an uncontested divorce, both spouses will still have to meet eligibility requirements. Before filing for a divorce, one spouse must have been a resident of Texas for no less than six months and also a resident of the county in which the filing is made for at least three months. No divorce in the state will be finalized before the mandatory waiting period of 60 days is over. Consulting with a skilled Texas divorce attorney is advisable for both spouses who may benefit from the experience and advice of their respective lawyers when making decisions related to property division and other contentious issues. Guidance can be provided for peaceful negotiations, even if the help of a divorce mediator is required.

Source: FindLaw, "Uncontested Divorce Basics: 5 Things to Consider", Betty Wang, Accessed on Oct. 28, 2016

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