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Community Property Division

 

Episode 2 - Community Property Division

Welcome to the top Texas Lawyers podcast. This podcast is brought to you by the law firm Abercrombie and Sanchez PLLC.

Your hosts are Brian Abercrombie and Samuel Sanchez. Brian has been practicing law for 18 years and his board certified that sort of legal specialization in the area of family law. Sam has been practicing for 13 years, is licensed in both Texas and Florida, and is a certified mediator. This podcast is for informational purposes only and all views are the opinion of the hosts. It's not designed to provide legal advice for your particular legal matter, and it should not replace the advice of competent counsel. Welcome. And we hope you enjoy the top Texas Lawyers podcast.

Good day to you and welcome to the Top Texas Lawyers podcast. I'm your host, Brian Abercrombie, and with me as always is my co-hosts, Samuel Sanchez. How you doing, buddy? I'm doing pretty well.

All right, so let's talk divorces in the news. First up, we always give a little bit of an entertaining tidbit.

We're gonna talk today a little bit about separating community property and some changes in the law in Texas that just occurred on September 1st.

But let's first talk about divorces in the news. What I have and you may have something else that's that's titillating and exciting, but I have Larry King. Eighty five years old, filed for divorce from his seventh wife after 22 years of marriage.

Apparently there was there's going to be a battle over money and infidelity. So Larry left seven. That's a that's a lot more than most of us. Larry is a powerhouse. Let's just let's just call a spade a spade.

Larry is a powerhouse.

That is incredible on that, since we're talking about a little bit of infidelity. And, you know, if you know and I'm sure listeners might be interested to know as well, Brian, as of September 1st, there's a new law in the state of Texas that says that it is illegal for you to send or it's a crime for you to send an unsolicited nude pic on your phone that kills that it gets rid of some people's social lives.

And I mean, a big part of that is, you know, obviously, you know, most people talk about Texas and they say, well, we're no fault, you know, but we do have fault divorces.

You and I both know. And that can be a big part of it. And so if, especially in a digital age, you and I both know with all the apps that are out there, I mean, a big part of this law that I think is a little bit concerning and hopefully it doesn't apply to Larry. And he wasn't in Texas. But if he was found to be sending these unwanted nude photos, it's a classy misdemeanor now with a maximum fine of five hundred dollars. So, you know, and it's pretty wide open right now as far as what that's for.

That's per picture, right? That it's not her picture. So be careful out there before you send those pictures of your of your private parts to people who don't want them to kiss ass, ask for a release or say, please send me a message that says, please, I want those.

So what we wanted to talk about a little bit today, and this is where that that can kind of come into play is the issue of divorce and property division, which can be big.

And then you and I both know in Texas, property division can be divided. We're in a community property state property division can be skewed a little bit based on fault and the breakup of the marriage. And, of course, one of those foregrounds being infidelity. So let's chat about that a little bit if you want.

Yeah, absolutely. I'd love to take that up, Brian, because I think that a lot of people most of the time, like we said before, really feel like, hey, in Texas, we want to get divorce. What are reasons that we need? Well, they can be as simple as you burnt my toast this morning or like the eggs weren't good or she made a terrible dinner or she didn't make up the bed. No fault means you can be divorced for any reason under the sun. You really don't even have to state one other than its portability. Fault is different fault. One raises the preponderance of evidence. It's gonna be required in the case. Right. So you and I both know what that means. Is whoever is going to assert or allege that somebody is at fault in the breakup of that marriage is going to have the burden or the responsibility of proving it.

You know, some of these things, are simple as an example. And we'll talk about later in future podcasts. You know, violence, family violence. Well, that's usually something that's not going to be very complicated to actually prove. Maybe there's police reports, maybe there's medical records, photographs. But still, all that evidence has to come in to substantiate those claims. You are considered fiduciary, fiduciary, meaning that you owe each other a duty to be fair and just in the way you handle finances. Well, you and I both know, Brian, that, you know, a large reason for people to get divorced in any state, in any jurisdiction is money and how people are handling or not handling that money.

Right. Let's talk a little bit about examples of safe fraud and fraud on the part of one spouse against another, because I think people like, well, wait a minute, I'm married. So she's gonna know what I'm doing or he's going to know what I'm doing.

What? Well, there are some kind of examples of a fraud in a man's marital relationship.

Sure. I mean, simple ones or, you know, let's talk about like just cash. Right. Cash is king still in every state. Let's say you take out some cash and you want to go gamble at Windstar in Oklahoma or her go to Vegas and take a trip with the boys and spend some money. You know, you're entitled to spend community property if you earned it. It's during the marriage. Both of you own it 100 percent. You're entitled to spend it. That's not really the issue that we're talking about. It's where you're doing it behind the back. Right. So as an example, you get a bonus. It's twenty thousand dollar bonus. You're excited, you're like, this is gonna be great for me and Sam to spend some money in Las Vegas and your wife, who I know very well and is beautiful and fantastic, might not appreciate that very much. And so she may have a different purpose or intention for that money. So instead of you disclosing that, hey, I got a twenty thousand dollar bonus from work. You decide not to tell us. You're gonna keep it secret. You're going to maybe alter some documents or shred some documents so that she doesn't know that money came into being. And then, hey, guess what? You and I go to Vegas and we have a great time. Well, that is, in essence, fraud, because what you've done is you've taken moneys that, yes, you were entitled to spend, but you mismanaged/did in a way to 1 eliminate disclosure to your partner, which you should always do. And then to diminish that value were dissipated. Those funds, by exhausting them in whatever way you decide to do it, could be a bad business investment. It could be gambling. It could be on a pair of more girlfriends or boyfriends. You know, there's 100 different ways that you could do that. That a court can look at you and say that wasn't the right way to do things.

So let's say I'm caught with my 20 grand, you know, I dropped at the Black Jack or whatever.

And then and then the court's going to lay that level later, lay the hammer on me for mismanaging or fraud. What does that normally look like? Twenty grand’s gone. She's not gonna get it back. What does that look like?

Well, it depends on the size of the estate. So let's say as an example, the court can look at it and say, well, we're going to put that twenty thousand dollar on your side of the ledger. So as we go to divide up assets, you know, tear the sheets, you know, we go and we said financial assets, values, and we're gonna distribute those between both parties. Will, if there's twenty thousand dollars it spent, no longer exist. And the court says, hey, you mismanagement or you perpetrated fraud on the community in the way you handled this transaction. They can assign that value to you. You can say, well, I had a terrible time in Vegas. I lost twenty thousand dollars. Well, you're going to show a twenty thousand dollar debit on your side of the division, but no value there. Your wife, on the other hand, would take twenty thousand dollars from an asset that does exist if it exists in the estate to counterbalance what you did. In addition to that, though, you can have long, far reaching effects as well, because let's say that you were in a long term marriage and a court looks at that and says, well, if fault can be proven. Does that open the door for anything else? Well, potentially. I mean, it could open the door for spousal maintenance, Texas's version of alimony. You know, somebody could look at that and a court could say, well, you know, based on your actions, does that afford her the opportunity, potentially get some payments? Maybe.

And you're talking about the marital misconduct portion of the alimony provision here in Texas. Correct. So let's talk about how far these courts in Texas, as you know, is community property state.

So most of these community property states we come from originally Spanish law. So most of the states in the southwest are going to be community property states, which means that generally that most property divisions all start out with the property being split 50/50. But there are some variances to that, correct?

Absolutely. So let's say they say, OK, you've been guilty or found that you were intentionally perpetrating fraud. Well, now a 50/50 division might not be applicable. So a court can not only look at that property division percentage, because really in Texas, the division is adjusted. Right, division. You know, everybody says 50/50 because we say community property. But that's not really the law. Law in Texas is justice, right. Division that could be 49/51. That could be 47/53. Who knows. It's up to the court but it's typically 50/50 unless you're at fault. Then the court can say hey bad player, bad person, bad actor, we're going to punish you, we're gonna give a percentage based on your behavior to the other side in compensation for your behavior because you're the reason that this relationship is ending. That could be 5%. That could be 10%. So it could be a 60/40 split if it's egregious. It could be 70/30. I mean, you know, it just depends on the facts that are put forward. It's a very fact-intensive inquiry that the court's going to consider that I've been practicing law for a number of years.

The biggest property disparity that I ever saw was an 80 grand and 80/20 split of a really, really pretty small estate. And that was based on I think the judge saw a 20 year history of family violence and really put the screws to this guy and divided the property up 80/20. That's the most egregious I've ever seen. I mean, most of the time I think we're seeing 55/45 being a good day. 53/47, maybe 60/40 is a home run.

You know, it really just depends on it's a very fact intensive, very fact intensive inquiry and that you know, you can you can sway that a little bit but. But normally you're seeing things that are in the 50, 50 to 60 range, 10 percent delta, correct?

Yeah, I would say that that's a fair a fair amount that you're going to see for some pretty crazy behavior. I mean, you and I both have gone through some pretty, pretty big wars and pretty scary cases. And I would tell you, I've seen similar things, you know, eighty twenties, you know, extreme 70/30 can happen, especially the way people just tend to sometimes lose their mind through this process. I do crazy things. You know, they're destroying airplanes or they're breaking into houses or they're, you know, engaging in all kinds of silliness and antics that that create the opportunity for a court to get very creative.

You know, what you don't want to do is have a court be creative because you want them to kind of really just apply the law simplistically, if at all possible.

Let's talk about U.S. analysts say you inherit a 4000 acre ranch from your from your dad.

And let's say that you're getting a divorce and that is that ranch up on the chopping block.

Not typically, not typically.

But I will tell you that you've got to be careful. Right.

So inheritance is usually going to be categorized as a personal separate property, depending how it's inherited.

So, you know, I'll give you a good example. Let's stretch that red ranch example to post marriage. You know, everybody's happy you're in the honeymoon stage. Your parents want to give you guys some money to get started.

And your parents or my parents decide, hey, we're gonna give Sam twenty thousand dollars to put down on on a house for him and his wife, young wife. I would tell you that twenty thousand dollar gift presumptively is to both parties if they don't specify.

But let's say they wrote a nice little card that says, Sam, this is for you because we love you so much as the sun, then it's going to require the person who is going to assert separate property has the burden of proving it, just like in fraud and just like in anything associated with fault or any higher burden. That's a clear and convincing burden in Texas. So to kind of give you an example, that kind of will maybe help clarify it a bit, you know, preponderance of the evidence is really the baseline of what we apply in marital property law in Texas. And same thing is really in Florida. What that means is, you know, if you had a ream of paper, five hundred sheets on one side, 500 sheets on the other side, and you took one piece of paper and you moved it from one five hundred ream to the other and made five or one in four ninety nine. That is a preponderance of evidence sufficient to be able to award somebody something.

I always like to. I was like the football example where to score a touchdown you have to get to the forty nine. The other teams. Forty nine yard line rather than getting to the A's all the way. Exactly.

Exactly. So. Exactly. So that's great because we're in football season and I guess we'll go with that. But I will tell you Brian, so like in clearing convincing, it's completely different. It's more like going 80 yards. So instead of having to just cross the 50, now you're having to go all the way to pretty much the 20 yard line. It's not necessarily a full on, you know, beyond a reasonable doubt, which is you cross the goal line for the most part or get pretty dog-gone close to it. It's the threshold between those two that this burden is going to apply to whoever is going to assert that. So in this example that we talked about, this gift for the house, that's twenty thousand dollar gift. You're going to need something substantial to be able to say, because in Texas, it's a donor's intent.

Right at Donation intent, whoever donated that money is really going to be the person we'll throw around.

Great. They can just sit up there and say, no, there's a gift to my son.

But if they're not around. Right. And you've got that money and it's 17 years later and you want to try to assert separate property, you could have some problems. So you really need to kind of make sure as you're having these kinds of things occur, whether it's an inheritance from a family member who's alive in revivals or, you know, it's passing from a will inheritance or, you know, probate estate or something like that, you're going to want to really maintain that documentation to help secure that portion of the estate going forward.

Let's talk a little bit about something that's maybe a little bit closer to home for people.

I mean, we've got a lot of blended families nowadays that get, you know, parents getting remarried that you've got they've got kids or they've got, you know, retirements from other jobs and then they're bringing them into the marriage. Let's say you have a four one K from your from your prior job and you get married.

Tell us that. Let's just talk a little bit about what happens to that for a week. How's that for a win K classified?

Sure. It's really at the point that let's say, you know, you've kept it from a previous relationship or before you had you only before you entered into the second relationship. It's going to be co-mingled because what ends up happening is if you're still employed from that company during the course of the marriage, the new marriage, that money that you contribute is money earned during the marriage. It's community property. The overwhelming presumption in Texas is that anything that comes into existence from the date of marriage for the date of divorce and just as an F.Y.I to everybody, Texas does not have legal separate separation. There's no such. So you're either married or you're not. And in this instance, you would be married. So any money earned is community, meaning that you both own it 100 percent. But the money that you brought into the relationship is separate. And if it's in the same account, you've co-mingled it. So what do you need to do to be able to assert this claim properly as one maintain records? Right. Get a statement of the balance and hear of the IRA or the 401 K account as it existed the month before marriage.

The other thing the other thing to recognize is even though you have that separate pot of money that you're bringing into the marriage, the interest that's earned off of that pot of money is community property. Now, if you're own shares of stock and the shares of stock that you have IBM stock and it goes from $50 to $80 a share.

That be great that that remains your separate property.

But things like interest earned off of a 401 K or an IRA typically is going to be community property because income off of separate property becomes community property. And so just so people are clear, I mean, in Texas, everything is presumed to be community property unless you can prove otherwise. The main things that are not true are not community property or separate property. And typically that's going to be stuff that you brought into the marriage, stuff that you owned before the marriage, stuff that you inherited or stuff that's two spouses agree in writing is going to be separate property, which doesn't come up that often, but does come up now.

Absolutely true. Absolutely true. And, you know, the big piece of it that I find is not only D&B of distributions. Brian, is what a lot of people get caught up in this because they'll say, hey, you know what? I had a 401 K account from a business or a company that I worked for. And I left that before we got married, started a new job during the marriage. But I still have that account. Shouldn't be a hundred percent mine. Well, just like you said, interest is going to because that's considered income community. So our distributions that are reinvested. So let's say, you know, it was restricted stock units or it's, you know, stock options, whatever it may be that are redeemed and then invested back in just because you owned it outright once it turns into income. It can cause a co-mingling situation that will require tracing and tracing these. You know, for those of you who are kind of new to this process, tracing, is this where we're going to get a financial expert, a forensic accountant who's going to go out there and they're going to do a lot of homework off of all the documentation that you can produce. Meaning all the statements, bank accounts, registers, everything that we might need to be able to show where money existed and where trans mutated, either from separate to community or commingled to separate those balances. And those reports are worth their weight in platinum, because that is how you're going to preserve that separate property interest that may exist if and when you need it.

And that, you know, if these cases go to trial, there's a price. There's a trial over property division. They get pretty expensive.

And obviously, you know, I try to tell clients that going to court and fighting, it's like playing the sport of polo. And I'm sure, you know, being as close as we are, all your friends play polo except for me. I would tell you that that's not the case. Let's listen to my side. Exactly right. Well, it's called the sport of Kings. It's called the sport of Kings because it's super expensive to play that game. And I would tell you that it's super expensive to go and fight with people about things in court, which is why it's so important. This documentation that we're referencing, this burden that's going to be on you as things happen is inheritances happen as awards or gifts happen. You really want to maintain documentation because that burden is going to be on you.

And if you're dealing with, you know, a high net worth divorce, I mean, and then these are these are parties that have more than a million dollars in assets. I mean, a 10 percent, you know, five, even 5%. Property division can be pretty substantial. You're talking about, you know, potentially, you know, 50, 100 thousand dollars difference in a property division for five for five or 10 percent, depending.

Oh, absolutely. And not only that, Brian, but, you know, I would tell people like, you know, if you think back as you reflect on your life, the things that matter most to you. Sometimes it's these high net worth items, but sometimes it can be the simple things, the things that you wish you were given or gifted or inherited from a grandfather or father could be, you know, a firearm that's been in your family for 20 years or a piece of work artwork that your mother or your grandmother aren't, you know, painted for you.

And these are things that become very complicated in relation to preserving. But they would be considered and potentially be considered separate property. But, you know, again, that burden falls on you. So it just can't. It can get complicated, but it can be you know, people go to fight over a lot of things, expensive things and less expensive things to do.

Well, let's talk about let's talk about the couch and the pillowcases and the beds. How the how are those typically divided up?

Yeah, I would tell you that anything that came into existence during the marriage is going to be presumed. Community, So that means if you bought a sofa, a washing machine, you know, television set a computer and you bought it with community money, it's community property. Now, let's say, though, that you were purchasing things from your inheritance account. You have an account. It's been separate. You've kept it separate the entire time. You pull money out of the account to go in and buy you a Mac laptop or that brand new 85” super high def television that you always wanted. Well, guess what? It that the character of property in Texas is created at the inception of title. So if you had that money in it separate and you can trace it again, you can prove that it came from these separate assets that television is now your separate property. It's not available for division through the community division of a divorce. OK. But if you don't do that and you buy it, just generally it's going to be presumed community. So what let's talk about how people you know, because people get sideways on that kind of stuff. We say, you know, I bought this really nice sofa. My God. When I bought it five years ago, it was ten thousand dollars. It was top grade Italian Corinthian leather. We all know Corinthian leather. And so, you know, I tried to tell clients. Yeah, but you sat you know, your booty on that sofa. Ornamental. A few thousand times over five years. And so it's not worth $10000 anymore. So even if it was separate property at that time, it's gonna be very difficult for you to assert that it's $10000. Separate property just means that you own it separate an outright.

So let's talk about let's talk about how you value that kind of stuff. So let's say how do we value the rug or the kitchen or the lights?

Did the nightstand or the or the kitchen table? I mean, how is that value? It's not it's not what we pay. We went down to gallery furniture, which is big down here in Houston.

But it's not what you pay for in a gallery, right?

No, absolutely not, unfortunately. I think people would love it if they if it was that way. But the way a court looks at it is. And what can really frustrate parties is they really look at garage sale value. You know, when you look at an asset, they say, well, if you're going to have a garage sale and we've all gone through those, you put stuff out in the front lawn and people come in and you may think it's worth a dollar. But by gosh, somebody is going to come up and say, I'll give you a dime. And you're like, but I want a dollar.

And it ends up selling for 20 cents. Well, guess what it was worth? It was worth 20 cents. And that's the way a court really looks at personal property.

You know, that's sofas and sheets and curtains and washing machines and all those kinds of things that we spend a lot of money to acquire and accumulate.

But when it comes time to divide it, they really diminish in value tremendously, especially if you have to go to court and fight about.

I mean, oftentimes the lawyers kind of kid about, you know, we know things family heirlooms are important. And there's a lot of sentimental value in things. But lawyers often joke about how it costs more for two lawyers to argue about the couch than than what the couch is actually worth, even if it's the $10000 Corinthian leather couch.

Absolutely true. I tried to tell clients, if you're gonna get hung up on something good, don't get hung up on stuff like this. Stuff is things that you can replace. Now, if it's irreplaceable, OK, maybe it's worth taking a look at. But honestly, most of the time anything that we buy can be replicated by something new or faster, cleaner, prettier. You know, just like me and you, Brian, we're always replaceable.

That is true. And you know, and it may. But what I always tell clients is it may not be the stuff you picked out. Maybe the stuff in your house is a compromise. You know, maybe you don't want to compromise anymore. It's time for your fresh starts, time for you to get a new couch tap, you get a new table, whatever. But I would tell you that, you know, things that have a title to it. Maybe there's a registered firearm and maybe there's that. There's a painting with some kind of a value. An appraisal, too. Those are the kinds of things that that are worth looking at and potentially worth worth fighting for. Because they do have value outside of garage sale value.

Yeah, absolutely. The bigger piece of it that we're finding now more and more, as you know, we're in an entrepreneurial state.

Right. And so business interests with these attend a lot of times to complicate matters, especially if like as an example, you've inherited a business interest from your father. So you're working in the family business, but you know, you have stock options and are issued shooting percentages of ownership that are awarded. You know, how did those get dealt with in court? Because that's when people really kind of look at something and say, hey, this was built by my family. It's been in my family for generations. Ranching. You know, value oil interests. I mean, all these kinds of things can get extremely difficult to divide up and ascertain who owns them as you go through this process.

So let's talk about that for a second, because if you think about it, I've got this family business that's been in my family for 100 years, whatever it is.

And, you know, I don't want my spouse to get any part of it because she's not, you know, a member of my side of the family. And he's a stay on my side of the family. So, you know, what are the vehicles that I can use to kind of get to go into the marriage? I want to be out with her and say, hey, we're keeping this. My side of the family. What are the vehicles that I can use to try to make that happen? Given I live in this presumption of community property state.

Sure. I mean, a big the big one is obviously the prenuptial agreements, prenup and then the post marriage. What we would call a post-nuptial or a partition agreement. The prenup rules are so important because honestly, here's what I try to tell people. I mean, you're gonna fall in love, whether it's your first time, your second time, your eighth time as Larry. You however many times you're gonna fall in love, want to get married with somebody. Those prenuptial agreements become very important because it forces everybody to be one.

Absolutely. One hundred percent transparent with one another about the finances. This is absolutely everything that I own, everything that I owe. And we're going to be very clear about what is going to happen once we get married. And it gives people the opportunity, Bryan. These prenuptial agreements to have conversations that they should be having anyways, which says what is mine, what is going to be ours? How do we want to handle our relationship going forward? Because obviously you and I both know marriage was created just for a transfer of wealth in the old days, you know, hundreds and hundreds of years ago. That's where they would transfer wealth between families generationally. Well, marriage is kind of taken on a new role. It's more of this. You know, it's there's a huge sentimentality portion of it, but it's still a fiscal financial transaction between parties. When you get married. And so at that point, it becomes really a very powerful tool for everybody to be just, you know, open and honest with one another and then really start on a good foot financially as far as what exists and what doesn't and what we're gonna share and what we're not gonna share.

So they'll be number one. Number two, is the post-nuptial a partition agreement? We like to try to tell people that these two things go hand in hand. Want to license, right. So it's very difficult to tie one shoe lace. But when you have two shoe laces tied into a bow, it makes a nice tight running shoe for you to be able to be off and running in the races. Post-nuptial is post-marriage. We usually try to recommend that people don't do it for six months after marriage. It usually should have a counterpart of a prenuptial, but doesn't have to. It can stand on its own, meaning that you can go in and say, hey, we didn't do them before you got married. But why don't we go and think about doing one now? Well, great. You can still do that. It's still available to you at any point in time during the marriage. So those are really the big vehicles that we'll use to kind of try to create separate property if there isn't any, or identify what separate and what's community, isn't it?

So I had this come up in a case recently that is, you know what?

What it has to be spelled out in a partition agreement to make it clear that that you are dividing community property and making a separate property.

Well, I mean, you know, I wish you could say it's a short list, but it's actually pretty much everything that's going to be it has to list all the assets, all the debts with specificity, meaning that you're going to say exactly what something is, account numbers, balances as of a date certain it has to be sworn to meaning that you're going to execute this in the presence of a notary and witnesses typically. So that way there'll be people who can say there was no duress or, you know, unforeseen undue influence and executing something. And on top of that, we usually tell both sides to get legal representation before you enter into any type of contract in the state of Texas, especially one that's important. You're gonna wanna have the advice of competent counsel.

And it has to be absolutely clear on the document that you are partitioning this property out.

Community property anymore, absolutely, absolutely, yeah. I mean, there's the cool part about a prenuptial and post-nuptial agreement, as you know, Brian, is obviously you can be very creative. There's a lot of things that we can do to address and allay parties concerns, because I would love to tell you that, you know, everybody gets married when they're 21 and both parties have nothing. But that's just not always the case. Nowadays, people are waiting longer to get married. They're establishing themselves and careers and investments before they get married. And so you bring into a lot of times into a relationship substantial assets. And even if you don't, you want to plan and forecast not for the demise of the relationship, but potentially just so that there's clarity, so that if for whatever reason, something were to happen in that relationship, both parties can part ways, if at all possible friends. It eliminates the fight, which is where obviously we make a lot of our income is people fighting about stuff that they shouldn't care, maybe that they just can't seem to agree on. But a prenuptial ends all of that. So does a partition agreement.

And it would also protect let's say, you know, let's say your kids don't get along with you with the new stepmom or the kids don't get along with the new stepdad. But also, protectively, some of your property, let's say you were to die first and then it also protects from a from a standpoint of creating your separate property so that your kids potentially can inherit something that's yours as opposed to something out of the community estate, which may all go to the new spouse.

Sure. That's something that I always encourage clients. And you and I both talk to clients about your estate planning. You know, the effective of, you know, how what can happen if a party dies during the marriage or relationship with assets as they exist. And so these are really kind of like fingers on a hand.

You know, family law is a part of it. Probate law is a part of estate planning is a part of it. You're going to want to incorporate somebody who has some knowledge and expertise in all of these areas to help you really put together a very well-thought out and strategic plan on how to address property, both community and separate throughout the course of that relationship.

All the way to go back to the you know, back to the Larry King example. He's on his seventh wife, eighth marriage you're talking about. You know, there's some there's some children out of all of those different marriages. If something were to happen to Larry, who's eighty five years old and has I don't think it's a secret that he's had some heart problems. It's you know, it's something that he could potentially protect his children, you know, from various number of ex-wives or whatever that may be. A rumor here is that some of the kids don't really like the way the way the seventh wife has been acting, you know, with the date, with the baseball coach and the public speaking gurus and all this kind of stuff. So maybe this is something that, you know, he wants to protect his assets forest for his children.

Yeah, absolutely. And I think anyone who even if whether you're the wage earner or the money maker or the, you know, the wealthier party, both sides really should want to take a look at the situation financially and make some very strategic decisions as you enter into the relationship with them.

Ok. Well, I think that's going to wrap it up for today. I really appreciate you joining us. And if you want to have a console with either me or Sam Weekend, we are available and then you can call the 800 number that will be listed here at the end of the show. And if you have any questions we can help you out with. I really appreciate you joining us, Sam, telling us all about separating community property and have a great one.

Thank you for listening, and we hope you enjoyed the Top Texas Lawyers Podcast. If you'd like to schedule a consultation with either Bryan or Sam, please call 1-888-981-7509. Or visit us on the web at astxlegal.com. Once again, that's astxlegal.com. Thank you very much.

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