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Basic divorce considerations

Even when divorcing Texas couples have no minor children to consider in their separation proceedings, there are still many factors to take into account with respect to property and asset division. Texas is a community property state, meaning that all assets acquired during marriage are divided 50-50 between divorcing spouses. There may be exceptions to the community property assumption for inherited property and gifts to one spouse.

When it comes to a family home, parties will not necessarily be required to sell the house and divide the money from the sale in half. The parties may agree that one person can keep the home and that the change in ownership may be considered a non-taxable transfer of assets. If the property transfer is completed within a year of the divorce, the party receiving the house would assume the adjusted basis of the transferring spouse. If the parties decide to sell the house, they may be able to get a capital gain exclusion. Another tax consideration is what status to file under divorce finalization. The status used when completing a tax return may affect the deductions, credits and income calculations.

Among other assets that must be divided equally are retirement accounts. Individuals may have an attorney help them draft a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to transfer certain retirement benefits plans without having them be subject to an early withdrawal penalty. People going through a divorce may also want to talk to an attorney about how they can transfer IRA funds on a carryover basis.

Some of the fees incurred by a party going through a divorce may be tax deductible, such as fees incurred for obtaining tax advice or income production. A non-breadwinning spouse may also have an attorney make a request on his or her behalf for attorney's fees, and a spouse may try to ask that any fees paid for the other spouse be classified as alimony.

Source: NerdWallet , "Divorce: Making Sense of the Confusion", J. Kevin Stophel, June 03, 2014

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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Attorney Bruce Turner is located in Dallas and represents people and businesses throughout DFW and the Metroplex, including Denton, Carrollton, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Farmers Branch, Irving, Las Colinas, Corinth, Highland Village, The Colony, Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Mesquite, Grand Prairie, Garland and Grapevine as well as Collin County, Denton County and Dallas County in Texas.

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