Dwyer Law Firm, Attorney at Law

How Does Texas Law Handle Reimbursement Claims?


A claim for reimbursement is statutory in Texas. There are 10 itemized claims for reimbursement. The marital estate in Texas means 3 estates: the community property owned by the spouses; the separate property owned by the husband; and the separate property owned by the wife. When one of those estates pays for the debt of another estate or improves the property of another estate and it falls within one of the itemized categories in the statute, then a claim for reimbursement can be made against another estate. Competing claims for reimbursement may be offset against each other.

Are Pension Or Retirement Program Assets Divided The Same As Other Property?

The community property principles governing the division of retirement plans, both qualified and nonqualified, are fairly straightforward. First, you must identify what type of retirement that you are dividing. Retirement plans are generally divided into private or non-private. Non-private plans include Federal, State, and other governmental or church plans. Typically they are defined contribution plans, defined benefit plans, and nonqualified deferred compensation plans. A QDRO is necessary to divide a qualified plan.

In a defined contribution plan such as a 401K or a nonqualified deferred compensation plan the community interest is usually said to equal either 1. The difference between the accrued benefit on the date of marriage and the accrued benefit on the date of divorce; or, 2. The total of all contributions to the account attributable to service during the period of marriage, adjusted for earnings and losses through the date of divorce. IRAs are not qualified plans and therefore Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO) are not required.

How Do The Texas Courts Handle The Division Of Debt In A Divorce? 

Characterizing debt is community or separate determines the obligations of the marital estates to repay the debt. It also determines the character of any property acquired by the means of that debt. If property is purchased on credit during a marriage, it is presumed to be on credit of the community estate and therefore is presumed to be community property. So, the court looks to characterize the debt to determine which estate the court can obligate to re-pay the debt. A debt or loan acquired during the marriage is presumptively a community debt unless the lender agreed to look solely to the borrowing spouses separate property for repayment. Additionally, property acquired with community credit his community and property acquired with separate credit is separate property.

What Are The Dangers Of Not Having An Experienced Texas Family Law Attorney When Dealing With The Division Of Debts And Assets/Property In A Divorce? 

Your Texas family lawyer must not only be experienced in family law to understand and guide you throughout the intricacies of the Texas family statutes but also be experienced in the court room. Without an attorney with both areas of expertise, a spouse could be placed in a significant disadvantage, both in the negotiation before going to court and in the court proceedings.

For more information on Reimbursement Claims In Texas, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (972) 746-2805 today.

Rex Dwyer, Esq

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