As a divorce attorney in Dallas, I often see complex cases involving the division of stocks and other assets during a divorce settlement. Texas follows the community property law, meaning that marital property must be divided in a just and right division between the spouses while separate property remains with the owning spouse. When it comes to stocks, the distinction between marital and separate property is crucial to determine the fair distribution of assets.

The Timing of Stock Acquisition

One of the first things to consider is when the stock fund started. If a spouse brought their own stock holdings into the marriage, it may be considered separate property. However, if the stock continued to grow in value during the marriage, the growth is considered marital property and must be divided accordingly. Any investments made during the marriage with marital funds would also be considered marital property.

401(k) Funds in a Texas Divorce

Many individuals believe that their 401(k) funds, being exclusively in their name, are separate property. However, this is not the case. The same principles of stock acquisition apply, where the value on the day of the wedding and any growth thereafter would be considered in determining the marital or separate nature of the funds.

Stock Options and Divorce Settlements

In some cases, employees may be given the opportunity to purchase stock in their company or receive ownership shares after a certain tenure. It is important to note that, even if the stock ownership is not yet vested, the spouse who earned the stock by working during the marriage may have a claim to it as it is considered partially marital property.

When it comes to dividing stocks in a Texas divorce, every case is unique and requires a careful examination of the circumstances. The team at The Blacknall Firm can help guide clients through this complex process and ensure that their assets are divided fairly.