Texas is what is known as a community property state, which means that, in the event of a divorce, all marital property (community property) will be divided equitably (or fairly given the situation). Reimbursement claims are intended to help ensure that any unfairness or inequity in relation to this division is righted, and the court has considerable discretion in the matter. It is complicated, but an experienced McLennan County divorce attorney can help.
Reimbursement Claims Are Not Common, But They Can Be Important
It is up to the presiding judge to determine if a reimbursement claim is warranted – and to determine the degree of evidence that is necessary to prove that it is warranted. In other words, the bar is generally quite high, and when you add to this the fact that most divorces settle out of court, it helps to ensure that reimbursement claims are unlikely to get top billing. If a reimbursement claim is warranted in your case, however, it is in your best interest to pursue it – and this alone may be enough to motivate your soon-to-be-ex to negotiate more earnestly.
Those properties and assets that you and your spouse acquire during your married years are presumed by the law to be marital property – with the exception of gifts and inheritances that are made in one spouse’s name alone. All marital property must be divided equitably. If, however, one of you has separate property that you kept separate throughout your marriage (which can be exceptionally difficult to manage), that separate property remains so. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can help cement the separate quality of a property.
By Way of Example
The best way to understand what reimbursement claims are all about is to consider an example, such as:
Say that your spouse came into your marriage with a family home that you accepted as his or her separate property (in the form of signing a prenuptial agreement that clearly makes this point).
If your spouse rented this house out during your marriage and any profits realized funneled back into your family, it supports the separate nature of the property.
If household funds, however, were invested in the home’s upkeep, it changes the complexion of the matter somewhat, and you are likely entitled to some reimbursement for your financial involvement in this separate property’s value.
While the separate nature of your spouse’s property is established, your investment may warrant a reimbursement claim.
The basics of this example can apply in many different situations in which separate property mixes and mingles with marital assets.
An Experienced McLennan County Divorce Attorney Is Standing by to Help
Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard is a trusted McLennan County, Texas, divorce attorney who is well equipped to skillfully advocate for a fair division of your marital property and for terms that protect your financial rights. Learn more about how we can help by contacting or calling us at 254-501-4040 today.