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Expertise Best Divorce Lawyers in Houston

How High Net-Worth Divorces Work in Texas: Things You Need To Know

If you’re facing divorce proceedings involving assets over $1 million, it’s important to consult with a Houston high-net-worth divorce attorney. These cases require specialized skills, knowledge, experience, and expertise. You don’t want to make mistakes during such a sensitive process.

A high-net-worth divorce lawyer understands how to navigate these types of situations and what pitfalls to avoid. They know how to protect your interests while negotiating fair settlement terms. In addition, they understand the legal implications of your situation and can help ensure that you receive full compensation for your losses.

Property Division in Texas

Texas law provides that all property owned by either party during the marriage is presumed to be community property. This includes real estate, personal property, retirement funds, stocks, bonds, bank accounts, and even vehicles. If one partner purchases something with money earned during the marriage, it becomes part of the community estate.

However, spouses can also have separate property within the marriage. Separate property is any asset acquired prior to the marriage, including things like premarital homes, inheritances, gifts, and earnings. When dividing up property acquired during the marriage, courts must determine whether the item is community property or separate property.

In a high net-worth case, much of the shared wealth you and your spouse accumulated during the marriage could be considered high-value items. For example, if you have a $1 million house, you might consider that to be a high-end asset. If your husband owns $2 million worth of stock, he may have some very expensive stuff too.

Problems in High Net-Worth Divorce

One issue that often arises in high net-worth divorces is the concealment of asset ownership. This occurs because some spouses want to keep the property out of reach of their partner. Other times, people hide assets, hoping that their spouse won't find them, meaning that the property becomes theirs after separation. In either case, concealing assets is not common practice.

In fact, hiding assets or property during a divorce is against the law. Property owned prior to the marriage must be disclosed to the court. Separate property belongs to the person who owns it prior to marriage. Any property acquired during the marriage is considered marital property. A judge is required to divide the marital estate equally.

If you suspect that someone might be trying to hide assets, consider consulting with an experienced family lawyer. He or she can advise you about how to protect yourself and your interests in the event that your spouse tries to take advantage of you.

Pre-Marital and Post-Marital Agreements

One way to avoid any extra drama related to assets is to draft a premarital or post-marriage agreement. This document helps clarify how your assets are divided up within the marriage, and it can also help you manage the transition of assets.

If you are planning to marry someone else, you might want to consider drafting a pre-marital agreement. A pre-marital agreement gives you control over your financial future. You can specify how your assets will be distributed upon divorce, and you can even protect yourself against claims of fraud or abuse.

You can also use a pre-marital contract to ensure that you don't lose anything important during the marriage. For example, if you have a house that you bought together, you can make sure that both parties are protected from losing their equity in the home.

Another benefit of having a pre-marital document is that you can prevent your partner from claiming joint ownership of certain items. For instance, if you have a car loan, you can specify that you are solely responsible for paying off the loan.

If you are divorcing your current partner, you can use a post-marital agreement to divide your assets. A post-marital agreement outlines what happens to each person's assets once the relationship ends.

This type of agreement can provide additional protection for one party. For example, if one individual wants to keep his or her retirement account, he or she can do so. However, if another individual wants to take that money, there is no legal recourse.

A post-marital agreement can also help you decide whether to sell certain assets. For example, if your ex-spouse owns a piece of real estate, you can determine whether you will retain ownership. Or if you have a 401(k), you can set out how much of those funds will go toward the down payment on a new home.

When There Isn't a Marital Agreement

There are many reasons why people don’t go through the process of drafting a pre or post-nuptial agreement. For one thing, it takes a lot of work. It requires a significant amount of research and planning. And it can cost money. But even if you do everything correctly, there still might be some surprises along the way.

For example, let’s say you receive a gift from someone else. If you don’t know how to handle it, you could end up having to pay taxes on it. Or maybe you inherit something from a family member that wasn’t included in the will. You may want to take advantage of certain tax benefits, such as claiming the value of the asset as income.

If you don’t have a pre or post-marriage agreement, you may find yourself in a situation where you have to fight over what belongs to whom. In addition, you’ll probably have to figure out how to divide your debts, including student loans and credit cards.

You may also have to consider tax implications. For instance, if you’re married and filing jointly, you may have to split your income equally. If you file separately, you won’t have to worry about splitting your earnings evenly. Instead, you’ll just have to report each person’s income individually.

The Bottom Line in Texas

A recent study conducted by the National Association of Distressed Asset Advisors found that over half of divorces end up being contested. While it is true that there are many reasons why a couple might decide to separate, the majority of cases involve money issues. In fact, according to NADA, 80% of divorces are about money.

In addition to money issues, another major reason why couples choose to split up is because of property disputes. And while these types of situations are often resolved amicably, sometimes they aren't. If you're in such a situation, you'll want to find someone who can help you navigate through the legal system. An experienced divorce attorney in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, and Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, can provide guidance and offer advice throughout the entire process. Contact us today at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.

When choosing an attorney, consider how much experience they have working with high-net-worth individuals. This is especially important since you don't want to hire someone who doesn't specialize in this area. Additionally, make sure they have expertise in both state and federal laws. Finally, look for someone who has worked with clients like yours before. By doing so, you can rest assured knowing that they know what to do and what not to do.

Client Reviews
Selecting an attorney can be one of the most difficult decisions a person has to make. In what seems like an overwhelming sea of attorneys who do you choose? Are they qualified, compassionate, and are they willing to fight for you without compromising their integrity? When faced with this decision in 2016 I received this and more when I retained Rahlita Thornton as my attorney. Since 2016 she has represented me on several court cases and I've never been disappointed. She is well versed and very knowledgeable on many aspects of the law. Attorney Thornton and her staff work diligently to ensure no stone is left unturned and justice is served. When I was crippled with fear, bullied, and felt like giving up she was my voice. She is highly recommend and I'm truly blessed to have her in my life. TTW
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