While Texas’s community property law entitles each spouse to have of the marital estate in a divorce, dividing assets down the middle is rarely a straightforward process. Even setting aside complex issues such as valuation of substantial assets and retirement account distributions, spouses will often be at odds over the not-so-simple issue of deciding who gets what.

Whether for sentimental or practical reasons, it is common for spouses to want to protect specific assets during their divorce. While no specific outcome can be guaranteed, if you want to keep certain assets in your divorce, here are some strategies you may be able to use:

1. Focus on Your and Your Spouse’s Priorities

When seeking to protect specific assets (or otherwise secure a specific outcome) in a divorce, it is important to consider you and your spouse’s respective wants and needs. Do you want something that is of little or no interest to your spouse? Does your spouse place significant sentimental value on something that you could easily do without? Where do you anticipate clashing interests? By answering these types of questions, you can begin to prioritize and think about ways to leverage your property division negotiations.

2. Go to Mediation or Use Collaborative Methods

If your spouse is likely to make the process difficult, it may be in your best interests to pursue mediation or a collaborative divorce. While these methods are designed to be neutral, they can often provide particular benefits to spouses who would otherwise struggle to get their spouses to engage in good-faith negotiations.

3. Go to Court

Generally speaking, seeking judicial intervention should be a last resort due to the time and expense involved. But, going to court is an option, and if your spouse refuses to negotiate a mutually-agreeable property settlement, you may be able to use the litigation process to secure your desired outcome.

4. Keep in Mind the Community Property Exceptions

While spouses must divide their community property, there is a good chance that not all assets involved in your divorce will fall into this category. Gifts, inheritances and property owned prior to the marriage are all exempt from distribution, as are certain other types of assets.

Did you sign a prenuptial or marital property agreement? If so, your agreement may entitle you to certain community property assets as well.

5. Find Other Ways to Negotiate for What You Want

Finally, when focusing on property distribution, it is important not to lose sight of the other aspects of your divorce. For example, while spousal support calculations are subject to their own unique requirements, spouses still have a decent amount of flexibility when it comes to alimony. If protecting certain community property assets is your priority, you may be able to craft an overall divorce settlement that meets your needs.

Nordhaus Walpole PLLC | Divorce Lawyers in McKinney, TX

If you would like more information about what Texas’s community property law means for your divorce, schedule a free initial consultation at the McKinney law offices of Nordhaus Walpole PLLC. To speak with one of our experienced divorce lawyers in confidence, please call (214) 726-1450 or request an appointment online today.