Couples with more shared assets often have more to argue about when they divorce. Under Texas state law, the possessions people acquire during marriage and the assets they acquire are community property that they generally need to share with one another when they divorce.
People often prioritize assets with emotional value when negotiating property division matters during a divorce. They also tend to look at the resources that have the highest financial value more carefully than assets worth a small amount of money. This makes sense, as certain resources are far more likely than others to cause conflict between divorcing spouses.
The marital home
The house where people live together may be their largest investment. Couples spend a significant amount of their income on their mortgage and on other costs to maintain and upgrade the home where they live together. It is very common for married couples to disagree about who should retain possession of the home. They will also have to figure out how to share equity between the two spouses. Even determining the fair market value of the property can be a source of contention.
Retirement accounts and deferred compensation
Many people have retirement accounts that their employers contribute to as an employment benefit. They may also have deferred compensation in their employment contracts to keep them working at a company or incentivize better work performance. It can be difficult to determine how much of a retirement account or a deferred compensation package is marital property and how much is separate. Deferred compensation can also be difficult to value accurately. Dividing these resources can also be a challenge, and may require special documents to avoid taxes and penalties.
Businesses and professional practices
Couples sometimes start a business together as a way to support their family. Other times, one spouse might begin their own professional practice when they finish school or inherit a family business when their parent dies or retires. Businesses can be difficult to divide because they represent not just a set financial value but a source of future income. People often argue intensely over what would be the most appropriate way to handle a business or professional practice.
Those who identify which assets matter the most to them and carefully review the details of their marital estate with an experienced attorney will have an easier time setting appropriate goals during a divorce. Focusing on specific goals can help people avoid unnecessary complications that may increase the cost of their divorce without having much impact on the final outcome.