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Divorce: What Happens When One Spouse Earns More?

Divorce can be an emotional rollercoaster. It can be even harder when you’re unsure what will happen because one partner earned significantly more or brought more assets to the marriage. Unfortunately, these questions can prevent people from talking to divorce attorneys in Austin because they are concerned about the answer.

If you’ve worked in a demanding, high-stress career for decades and your spouse has been the stay-at-home parent, will they receive half the property? What if you didn’t work outside the home but spent significant time shuttling the kids to extracurricular activities to polish their college applications? How does your contribution count?

Experienced divorce attorneys in Austin frequently help couples answer these questions. At Lazar Law, our focus is on understanding your situation and finding a fair resolution so you can move forward.

It surprises some people to learn that courts in Central Texas require mediation in most divorce and custody lawsuits. Except in cases involving family violence—if you are a victim of family violence, they won’t expect you to settle by negotiating with your abuser.

In our experience, when consideration and compromise are added to the mix, a successful resolution is more likely to happen. Your lawyer can be your guide as you move through this complicated process.

An Equitable Split Is Not Always the Equal One

In Texas, assets gained during the marriage are jointly owned. Therefore, if you owned property before or received individual gifts during the marriage, those are exempt. Prenuptial agreements are another exception.

The law states that community property and debt be divided in a “just and right” manner, even when this may not be 50/50. So don’t worry; a judge considers many factors if they decide one spouse receives a more significant share of the assets.

These could include things like a person’s:

●      Age

●      Education

●      Health

●      Earning capacity

●      Skills or training

●      Whether they were the children’s primary caregiver

●      Any separate property they may own

Alimony, usually referred to as spousal maintenance, includes many of these same considerations. The divorce attorneys team at Lazar Law prioritizes understanding your unique situation and works toward compassionate solutions.

Ask Your Divorce Attorneys: “What is Included in Community Property?”

Community property may include real estate, a business, cars, money, furniture, bank funds, and other things earned or purchased by either spouse during your marriage. It doesn’t matter whose money purchased the property or which spouse’s name is on the title.

As experienced attorneys, we will work with you to be sure you include all accounts and assets. Our team knows how to assess your retirement account and benefit plan, and look for items that may be overlooked. In addition, we can help you navigate how they fit into the equity split while considering regulations, tax laws, and other rules.

Although your situation will influence which options are appropriate, we are committed and determined to find fair resolutions. Many couples face unique equity split situations, but our goal is for both parties to leave the marriage feeling satisfied.

We’ve practiced family law for many years and understand property distribution can be confusing. If you have questions about splitting property, it is important that you contact an attorney sooner, rather than later, to learn about your situation and the ideal outcome.

When you’re ready to move forward, contact us or call 512-477-1600 to schedule a consultation. We’re here to help.

For help with possession and access and other child custody and visitation matters in an Austin divorce or custody case, contact Lazar Law at 512-477-1600.
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