Preserving Property During Divorce
Spouses living in Montgomery County, Texas should understand what restraints the county courts put on actions regarding property during divorce. Montgomery County Courts at Law and the Montgomery County District Courts issued a standing order on March 11, 2009 that specifically lists prohibited actions against the property.
Under Texas Family Code Section 4.001 property means an interest, present or future, legal or equitable, vested or contingent, in real or personal property, including income and earnings.
Some of the restraints listed in the standing order against property of one or both parties include:
- Actions that change property value of one or both parties, including destroying, removing, concealing, encumbering, transferring, harming, or reducing property value
- Actions that change property value, including destroying, removing, concealing, encumbering, transferring, harming or reducing property value
- Misrepresentation or refusal to disclose the existence, amount, or location of property
- Damage or destruction of tangible property or a document representing anything of value
- Tampering with tangible property or a document representing anything of value that causes monetary loss
- Selling, transferring, assigning, mortgaging, encumbering, or in any way alienating property
- Terminating or affecting utility services, cable television, or other contractual services such as security, pest control, landscaping or yard maintenance
The courts also prohibit a spouse from excluding the other spouse from the use and enjoyment of the co-owned residence. However, if a domestic violence is an issue, a spouse’s attorney can request a restraining order, which may limit access to the residence.
For questions about legal limitations involving property, it is always best to consult a Texas divorce attorney.