Mineral rights, high-asset Texas divorce

Mineral rights basically refer to ownership rights of resources that exist underground. Such resources typically include gas, coal or oil (commonly referred to as fossil fuels), as well as limestone, salt and various metals. Mineral rights refer to both ownership of rights for underground resources, as well as surface rights. Many people considering filing for divorce in Texas have concerns about property division and transfer of rights as part of their settlement.

If mineral rights are relevant to your high-asset divorce, you’ll want to make sure you clearly understand state laws regarding such issues before signing any type of settlement agreement. There are several key issues to keep in mind. As always, protecting your interests is easiest when you act under experienced legal guidance.

The county that holds your mineral rights will want to see a divorce decree

It’s possible that you registered your mineral rights in a different county from the one that has jurisdiction over your divorce. If that’s the case, be prepared to show the proper county officials your divorce decree. This will be a needed step to transfer ownership rights. The operator (company that holds the oil, gas and mineral lease) will also want to review your divorce decree before executing new ownership papers.

Once you have met all requirements, you must approve and sign the mineral rights deed. This is typically the final step in the process to transfer ownership rights following a divorce. In some cases, spouses might agree to place mineral rights in trust, so that they are set aside as an inheritance for a specific beneficiary. Issues may become complex if you own mineral rights but do not own the property where the resources are located.

Selling mineral rights before you sign a settlement agreement

In a high-asset Texas divorce that includes mineral rights, spouses might choose to sell their rights before finalizing their settlement. This results in proceeds the court would split equally between spouses as part of property division proceedings. In many cases, such assets would provide a newly divorced individual with money to invest to generate income or to pay off debts or offset expenses associated with the divorce.

You’ve worked hard to acquire the assets you own. There’s no reason that a divorce should cause financial ruin. By making informed decisions under experienced guidance, you can not only walk away with the maximum to which you have a right, but perhaps also lay the groundwork for a profitable future.