Michalk, Beatty & Alcozer, L.P.


Handling property division is a multi-step process

As is the case in other states, when a couple in Killeen or Fort Hood spit up either through a divorce or otherwise, property will often have to be divided between them.

When the couple is married, this will mean dividing the property according to Texas's community property rules. While these rules can be complicated and hard to apply in particular situations, one can say that the law requires Texans to divide their marital property roughly in half.

However, this does not make property division a simple family law matter that the average person could handle, even if both spouses understand the concept and are willing to agree on how to divide their property between themselves.

The reason is that many types of property, retirement plans for instance, require some additional steps in order to ensure that the property division is handled legally, promptly and without unintended financial or legal consequences to either side.

In the case of a 401(k), for instance, usually one of the attorneys will need to prepare a qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO. The QDRO directs the institution which is administering the 401(k), often a large financial organization, as to how they are allowed to divide the retirement plan even though the employee is no longer married.

Not preparing a QDRO correctly could cause delays in a divorce case and, at worst, could mean that one of the spouses does not get the property he or she bargained for at all.

There are other situations in which some extra legal legwork may be necessary in order to accomplish even an agreed-upon division of property. For instance, divvying up a military pension or other benefits might require some important extra steps with which a skilled family law attorney can assist.

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