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TX divorce lawyerDuring Texas divorces, a couple’s marital property is subject to division. In most cases, this means that divorcing spouses must grapple with who will retain a variety of assets ranging from houses and vehicles to financial assets, such as bank accounts and pensions. Of these types of assets, financial property is often the most difficult to divide. This is especially true for pensions, the status of which depends on when the pension was acquired and whether a pre-existing agreement is in place. For help determining whether your own pension qualifies as marital property and whether you can expect a portion of those payments upon divorce, please contact a member of our high asset divorce legal team today.

Community Property States

Texas is one of only nine community property jurisdictions, which means that almost all assets acquired by a couple during their marriage are considered to belong equally to both parties if they later decide to divorce. The assumption in most cases is that these assets will be divided 50/50 between the parties. This rule applies to physical property, such as real estate and personal possessions, as well as financial assets like retirement accounts and pensions.

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Texas divorce lawyerAlthough many couples who file for divorce anticipate conflicts regarding custody or possession of a home, financial problems still catch a significant number of people off guard. Going into divorce proceedings with an understanding of the financial impact that dissolving a marriage will have is crucial, so if you are considering filing for divorce, it is important to consult with an experienced high asset divorce attorney who can walk you through your next steps.

Protecting Your Credit

There are a number of steps that divorcing couples can take to help mitigate certain types of financial problems that they might otherwise face down the road. For instance, protecting one’s credit is an important measure that is often overlooked by divorcing couples. This includes canceling any joint credit cards held in a soon to be ex-spouse’s name, which helps ensure that one party’s credit does not remain tied to the other’s spending habits. This is also a good way to start building a good credit score under your own name.

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Texas divorce lawyerOwning a business with a spouse is a relatively common practice, and while many of these types of businesses are successful and lucrative, they can also raise a host of complicated issues in the event of a divorce. This is because couples who own companies together must grapple with dividing the business if they later decide to dissolve their marriage, which can be difficult if both parties wish to retain an active role in management or there is disagreement regarding the value of the company itself. For help addressing the fate of your own company after divorce, please contact a member of our high asset divorce legal team for advice.

The Importance of Business Appraisals

The first step in these types of cases is to determine the value of the business in question, as this will affect how and whether the company should be divided between the spouses. Like any other asset, there are professionals who specialize in appraising businesses. These individuals assist divorcing couples who own a business together by determining the fair market value of the company, which refers to the amount that a buyer would be willing to pay for a business from a seller who wants to sell but is under no necessity to do so.

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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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Texas high asset divorce attorney, Texas complex divorce lawyerOne of the most contentious issues faced by many couples going through a divorce is who will retain ownership of the family home. Texas is a community property state, which means that all assets acquired by a couple during their marriage must be divided equitably upon divorce. The family home falls under this category as well, which means that if a couple is unable to come to an agreement outside of court, a judge will need to devise an equitable arrangement. Property division is a complicated legal issue, which can be made even more complex by the emotionally charged nature of many divorces, so if you are considering a divorce and have concerns about property division, it is important to contact an experienced complex divorce attorney who can explain your options.

Community Property

All property acquired during a marriage will need to be divided during a divorce, including:

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Texas high asset divorce attorney, Texas complex litigation lawyer, hidden assets, Constructive fraud is quite common in high net worth divorce cases. Many times, these matters involve long-term marriages which slowly deteriorated over a period of several years, giving the spouses ample opportunity to surreptitiously redirect community funds. There is also a compounding factor; for example, Wife may think little of giving children from a prior marriage a few hundred dollars a month without Husband's knowledge, but over the years, the community estate may lose tens of thousands of dollars.

In decades past, a separate tort lawsuit was about the only option for recovery of these funds. These cases are difficult to file, due to statute of limitations issues, and difficult to win, because of different evidentiary requirements. Moreover, even if they have substantial incomes, many Texans are essentially judgement proof. But the law recently changed, and fraud victims now have a remedy within the divorce procedure itself.

Reconstitution

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Texas high asset divorce attorney, Texas complex litigation attorney, Texas divorce laws, Although there is nearly always some overlap, most assets in a high net worth divorce fall into one of two general categories. Some property items, primarily things like securities brokerage accounts and retirement nest eggs, are prized mostly for their economic value. Others, such as a primary residence or vacation property, have a greater emotional value.

A family business is one of the rarer items that is very much a mixture of both these elements. In many cases, a business is a couple's primary source of income, or even the only such resource, so it has tremendous economic value for both the husband and wife. At the same time, especially if it was founded during the marriage, both parties have a great deal of "sweat equity" in the endeavor.

What Happens to the Business?

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Posted on in High Asset Divorce

Texas high asset divorce attorney, Texas complex litigation lawyer, Texas divorce laws, In many respects, a stick of dynamite and a high-asset divorce have a great deal in common. Prior to the inevitable explosion, there is a burning fuse. Sometimes the fuse is very short; for example, there may have been an extramarital affair or an outburst of physical violence. Other times, the fuse is considerably longer, as differences simmer and eventually escalate into conflict. This process often takes place over the course of years or even decades.

Especially in the latter scenario, some level of fraud, or attempted fraud, is nearly inevitable. Since a spouse anticipates a high net worth divorce, there is ample opportunity to conceal assets. Fortunately, there are affirmative steps that an attorney can take to mitigate or erase the damage.

Preventative

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