During difficult times, you may think it’s easier to put off filing for divorce, to live apart and avoid paying legal fees. If you have significant community property such as a home, investments, or retirement, you may want to discuss your strategy with an experienced divorce attorney.
Why? Because the Texas Family Code provides that property accrued during marriage is community property and Texas has no legal separation or other provision to stop the accrual of community property. So, there is no authority to classify the appreciation of an asset, such as a 401(k) retirement plan, during the marriage as anything other than community property.
The increase in the value of your retirement, or the equity in your home, continues accruing during your informal separation is still property of your community estate and remains subject to division by the divorce court – – even if you were the only one paying the mortgage on the home or making contributions to the retirement!
To conclude, don’t be penny wise, but pound foolish. Invest in a consultation with a respected divorce attorney to get sound asset conserving alternatives.