In a Texas divorce, your marital property – that property that you acquired as a married couple – will be divided in a manner that is considered just and right. Spouses who are highly compensated by their jobs can have a long list of deferred forms of compensation that spread over many years. This is naturally an important financial concern that can complicate the division of marital property in your divorce.
The Division of Marital Property in Your Divorce
The division of property in a Texas divorce involves the valuation of common assets that are tangible, such as cars, bank accounts, the family home, and more. Valuing these properties is generally fairly straightforward. The division of marital property, however, can also include assets that do not have a specific cash value like the contents of a highly compensated employee’s benefits portfolio, which can include:
- Deferred compensation
- Brokerage accounts
- Life insurance policies
- Restricted stocks
- Retirement plans
- Stock options
Such non-cash compensation is typically far more complicated to value than are more traditional tangible assets.
Texas courts have standing orders related to non-cash compensation that automatically apply in the course of a Texas divorce. This is a legal precaution that is taken to help ensure that the highly compensated spouse does not engage in actions that would prevent the other spouse from receiving a just and right division of marital property in the divorce.
The complication inherent to valuing non-cash compensation is that the current dollar value of the item in question is often not the most accurate mechanism for determining worth. For example, market factors can significantly alter the value of a stock on any given day. Market volatility should not be allowed to determine the value of those non-cash assets that will have significant financial reverberations in you and your children’s post-divorce future. An experienced Texas divorce attorney has more sophisticated means of determining the value of such properties.
Dividing Your Non-Cash Assets
The division of non-cash compensation can be complicated by the fact that some of the compensation was acquired prior to marriage. After the marital portion is determined and valued, if you and your divorcing spouse are unable to reach an agreement regarding the division of non-cash assets, the court will do it for you – based on what it determines to be just and right.