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My spouse is stating that she can freeze my assets and take…

My spouse is stating...

My spouse is stating that she can freeze my assets and take half of any money that I have, is this accurate? All of my accounts (IRA's checking, savings) were established decades prior to being married to her. We were unable to establish any joint accounts because she owes the bank I use an undisclosed amount of money from one of her past marriages. I was unwilling to change banks because of her past financial missteps and her unwillingness to disclose how much she owes and to whom. We do not have any property as I sold the home I purchased prior to our marriage. What exactly is she entitled to if we do go to court?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

We are in TX and do not own any real estate...

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Not yet.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No children together, we do own an RV that I forced her to sign a financial responsibility letter for. I am assuming that since she cannot hold on to a job, that I will assume full responsibility for that.

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/14/2018
RayAnswers
RayAnswers, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 46,473
Experience: Texas lawyer for 30 years in Estate law
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Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question, conduct and prepare your response.

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She is entitled to half of anything acquired during the marriage propriety wise and half of any retirement accounts or income only during time of marriage.Anything earned here during marriage is community.She seems to be wishing for more that she would be entitled.If you cannot resolve it you can appear before judge and he will divide it fairly.Sounds like RV is community and the debt here is too.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Thanks.

If you can positive rate 5 stars it is much appreciated.

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Texas is what's called a community property state. This means that all income earned and property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is community property and belongs to both spouses equally, so it must be split equally between the spouses when they divorce. Likewise, all debts that either spouse incurs during the marriage are considered community debts and belong to both spouses equally. However, if there are “just and right” reasons why the assets should be distributed differently, then the court may order an unequal result.

Presumption of Community Property

The court begins its evaluation with a presumption that all property held by either spouse during marriage is community property. Texas law defines community property as any property acquired or earned during marriage that isn’t separate property. A spouse who wants to keep an asset free from division must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the asset is separate property.

Separate property includes anything that belonged to one spouse before marriage and was kept separate throughout the marriage. It could also include property that was given only to one spouse during the marriage--for example, a gift made by a friend or family member to the husband alone, or an inheritance that the wife received from a relative.

If one spouse receives money from a lawsuit or settlement because of personal injuries, that money remains the separate property of the injured spouse, unless it includes money that is intended to compensate for loss of earning capacity during marriage. For example, the wife earns $4,000 a month as a sales representative, but is injured in a car accident and wins her lawsuit against the other driver. The money she gets from that driver for her injuries is hers alone, unless part of it was to pay her for the month she had to take off of work to heal. The portion of the award that pays her back for those earnings is community property.

The most common types of property divided at divorce are real property like the family home, personal property like jewelry and clothing, and intangible property like income, dividends, and benefits. All the community property must be divided between the spouses when the marriage ends, and all of the marital debts as well. Once a spouse proves that an asset is separate property, then that asset remains in the hands of the original owner; the court cannot award it to the other spouse.

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