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Texas divorce lawyerDivorce can be a difficult process, no matter how respectful and amicable the parties are to each other. This is especially true in cases where substantial assets are involved, as it can be extremely difficult to account for and divide a diverse range of property and valuables. If you need help preparing for your own divorce, you should strongly consider speaking with an experienced high asset divorce attorney who can assist you.

Diverse Assets

One of the most difficult aspects of high asset divorces is identifying and fairly distributing assets, which could include:

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Posted on in Complex Property Litigation

Texas divorce lawyerCouples with high assets face a number of unique issues that other divorcing couples do not. This is largely due to the fact that these individuals have a variety of different assets that must be identified, valued, and then divided. In many cases, this also means that the parties own multiple pieces of real estate, including vacation homes, as well as rental properties, which in turn, raises a host of issues.

For instance, both parties may wish to remain in possession of a single property, or one party may wish to sell it and divide the proceeds. However, before these decisions can even be made, the parties will need to obtain an accurate valuation. This can also be a difficult process, as there are a variety of different ways to value property, making it especially important for those who own real estate and are going through a divorce to speak with an experienced Round Rock high asset divorce attorney who can ensure that their property is properly evaluated.

Real Estate Appraisal

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Texas divorce attorneyWhile many people think that the property division process during divorce only involves splitting up assets, such as bank accounts, the family home, or personal property, the reality is that those who are going through a divorce must also divide debt. Like assets, debts are divided based on their status as either community property or separate property, as well as a number of other factors, making it especially important for the divorcing parties to have a firm understanding of the origins of their debts. To ensure that you aren’t saddled with debt that is your spouse’s responsibility, please contact a high asset divorce attorney who has the resources and experience necessary to help you reach a fair settlement.

Marital Debt

Although it is true that debts incurred by one spouse during a marriage are generally presumed to be community property debt, which means that they must be divided equitably upon divorce, Texas law also takes other factors into account when dividing debts. For example, debts incurred during marriage could end up being the responsibility of one spouse if he or she solely incurred the debt. If, for instance, one spouse took out a credit card in his name during his marriage, he will most likely be held solely responsible for that debt, but only if the debt was used to purchase items from which only he benefitted. If, on the other hand, the debt was used to buy necessities, then the debt holder’s spouse becomes indirectly responsible for them, regardless of whether his or her name is actually attached to the debt. What qualifies as a “necessary” depends on the specific circumstances of a case, although at a minimum, necessaries include the following:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_QDRO.jpgMany high asset divorces require the division of substantial retirement funds, which in Texas, usually involves the issuance of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). These orders, which are issued by a judge, essentially separate and transfer retirement plans between two parties. In fact, the issuance of a QDRO is often necessary before an employer’s pension plan administrator will even agree to divide a retirement account. QDROs contain valuable information, including how the account will be utilized going forward and how its contents will be divided. If you have retirement benefits that were at least partially accumulated during your marriage, you may need to divide those funds with your ex-spouse upon divorce. To learn more about this process, please contact an experienced high asset divorce attorney who can address your questions and concerns.

Dividing Retirement Funds

A party’s retirement funds are not always divisible upon divorce, as courts will usually only order equitable division if funds were accumulated during the marriage itself. Although it depends on the type of account, this means that the retirement funds will either pay out on a regular basis in the future or will be available for withdrawal at the parties’ discretion. It’s also important to note that the only funds that will be subject to division are those that accumulated during the marriage. Funds that accrued prior to the marriage will remain the sole property of the named participant.

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Texas divorce lawyerMany couples who enter into a marriage with significant assets of their own choosing to create a premarital agreement, which ensures that property acquired prior to the marriage will not be divided upon divorce. However, prenuptial agreements are only enforceable in court if they are created in accordance with specific standards, so if you or your future spouse have significant assets, it is critical to speak with an experienced high asset divorce attorney who can ensure that your agreement is valid and will not later be thrown out by the court.

Defenses to Enforcement

There are only a few ways that a person can defeat a premarital agreement, including by proving that:

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Texas divorce lawyerAlthough most people associate divorce with child custody issues, alimony, or deciding who will keep the marital home, many couples who jointly own a family business must also divide the company itself. This requires an in-depth valuation of the business, as well as a determination of whether the company is actually jointly owned. Furthermore, once a couple’s business interests have been appraised and the parties have agreed to a settlement, the business’s actual division will need to take place, which can be difficult, especially for couples with an acrimonious relationship. For help determining the value of your own business and coming to a settlement agreement with your spouse, please contact one of our experienced high asset divorce attorneys today.

Initial Considerations

Before deciding on how to divide a business during divorce proceedings, the couple in question must consider a variety of factors, including:

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Posted on in Complex Divorce

Texas divorce lawyerCouples with significant or diverse assets are often required to deal with unique hurdles when going through a divorce. For this reason, many high asset couples are strongly urged to work closely not only with an experienced high asset divorce attorney, but also with a skilled financial team that can help assess the value of the couple’s property. To learn more about what kind of financial advice you may require during a high asset divorce, please call our legal team today.

Types of Financial Experts

Financial teams that assist couples who are going through a divorce often include some or all of the following individuals:

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Posted on in High Asset Divorce

Texas divoece lawyerMany couples who go through a divorce disagree on what constitutes a fair division of assets. These disagreements can become especially contentious when a couple has a significant amount of assets, or unusual non-traditional property. In these cases, the parties must be able to provide proof of the value of the assets in question to ensure that both individuals receive a fair portion. Unfortunately, this can be a difficult process for certain types of valuable assets, such as fine art, antiques, sports memorabilia, and collectibles, so retaining a high asset divorce attorney who has the resources and experience necessary to grapple with these kinds of issues is critical to the prompt and fair division of property during a divorce.

How Do I Place a Value on Unusual Assets?

Valuation is a key part of the property division process for high asset couples because the amount that each party will receive varies depending on the value of each of their assets. Unfortunately, estimating value for unusual items, such as artwork, can be difficult, as the couple may not even know its actual worth. For this reason, most high asset couples will need to work with an expert appraiser who can inspect the object and then determine how much it would go for at auction.

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The Law Offices of William D. Powers

8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759