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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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Texans benefit from careful asset protection in a divorce

A recent divorce dispute involved a husband who wanted half of an inheritance his wife had received from her grandfather's estate two years before. This type of situation is not uncommon in a divorce, and different circumstances may apply from one divorce case to another. An important distinction is legally made between separate property, which is not divided, and marital property, which is divided.

Marital property is divided according to equitable distribution or community property laws. Texas is a state that has community property laws, considering each spouse to be the half owner of all marital property. An inheritance would not typically be treated as marital property unless it was held in a bank account used by both spouses. In this case, the money from the inheritance would be divided between the woman and her husband.

Another legal issue that people need to be aware of is monetary gifts from parents and others. A different couple experienced this difficulty when the wife's parents gave them money early in the marriage during a difficult time. When the couple divorced, the wife wanted to pay the money back to her parents while the husband wanted it divided between the two of them.

Property division is often one of the most difficult parts of coping with a divorce. In cases where there is a dispute over inheritance money or gifts, someone getting a divorce might stand to lose a lot of money without careful planning. An attorney's advice can be helpful in determining how to go about a divorce with as little financial loss as possible.

Source: Forbes, "Divorcing Women: Here's How to Protect Your Inheritances And Gifts", Jeff Landers, August 19, 2014

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