My divorce is over now, with a decree entered almost two years ago, but I have not collected my personal belongings from my spouse.  Further, my spouse has not delivered bank account money or stock to me as required by the decree.  How long do I have to collect property awarded in the decree?

The time limit to enforce property division differs between “tangible personal property” and monetary assets, such as money on deposit or stock in a brokerage account.

For personal property items, Texas Family Code  §  9.003 does impose a 2 year time limit, known as a statute of limitations, to enforce collection of “tangible personal property”.  It is then very important to either collect your personal items within two years of the date of the decree.  If your former spouse will not allow you to collect the items awarded to you in the decree, you must sue to request the Court make appropriate orders for your to take possession of your property.  If you do not timely sue for yoru property, you may lose it.

For monetary property or stocks for example, very simplified, Texas Family Code § 9.003 does NOT impose a 2 year limit, known as a statute of limitations, to enforce division of monetary accounts or stock, because money is not “tangible personal property”. In other words, you have to sue to get your personal stuff, the furniture, for example, within two years of the divorce, but you can sue to divide monetary accounts and stock accounts after that.

The Dallas Court of Appeals recently ruled, “we now hold that money and shares of stock are not tangible personal property for the purposes of section 9.003 [of the Texas Family Code]. Thus, we overrule [the Long case] to the extent that it holds that money or shares of stock constitute tangible personal property.” Chakrabarty v. Ganguly, 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 1795, 2019 WL 1071844 (Tex. App.—Dallas, 2019, en banc opinion)(overruling  Long v. Long, 196 S.W.3d 460 (Tex. App. Dallas 2006), to the extent that it holds that money or shares of stock constitute tangible personal property.



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