In the event of a divorce, steps to take to protect your separate property. Start by identifying all of your assets you believe are your separate property. In Texas, separate property is property (such as real estate, liquid asset or retirement) that you owned before the marriage or received during the marriage through gift or inheritance. Additionally, certain proceeds from a personal injury lawsuit are considered separate property. If an asset is proven to be your separate property by clear and convincing evidence, then the Court lacks the authority to award it to your spouse in a divorce.
Once you have a list of the assets, gather the documents you need to confirm your basis for each separate property claim. For example, a bank statement showing the account with the account balance at the time of marriage if you are claiming that you had the funds before the marriage; Depending on the length of the marriage the next step can be difficult and sometimes impossible. Gather the additional documents or statements to show the account balance(s) throughout the marriage. If you moved your money to a different account, then you will need to provide the documents the source of funds for your account opened during the marriage was the account holder before the marriage. Finally, you will need to obtain statements to show the current account balances.
It’s relatively common not initially to have all of the documentation you may need. It just means there is work to be done that your attorney or financial expert can assist you with obtaining to keep the task from being overwhelming. If it’s a gift received during the marriage, then your documentation could be a picture of you when you received the gift of a card that describes the gift. There may also not be any documentation other than your testimony.