How High Net-Worth Divorces Work in Texas
High net worth divorce cases are often complicated due to the fact that there are many parties involved, each with different interests and priorities. These types of cases require specialized knowledge and skill sets that most divorce lawyers simply do not possess.
To ensure that your case is handled properly and efficiently, it is important to hire a high-net-worth divorce attorney we understand how difficult it can be to navigate such a complex legal matter and we pride ourselves on providing exceptional service to every client.
We take great care to thoroughly review all aspects of your situation and provide personalized attention throughout the entire process. Our goal is to make sure that you receive everything you deserve while minimizing stress and anxiety.What is Considered a High Net Worth Divorce?
There is no universal definition of high net worth or high asset divorce. Many people use the term to refer to a situation where one spouse has significant financial resources while the other does not. But there are many different ways to define a high net worth divorce. For example, it could mean having $1 million or more in cash or securities, or it could mean owning $5 million or more in real estate. In addition, it might include multiple retirement accounts, including 401(k)s, IRAs, pension plans, or federal or military retirements.
The most common types of high-net-worth divorces involve significant cash or near-liquid investments. These include stocks, bonds, or investment portfolios. They often include multiple retirement accounts, such as those listed above. Other examples include significant separate property in existence prior to the marriage or received during marriage through gift, inheritance, or a personal injury.How Do High Net Worth Divorces Differ from Traditional Divorces?
High net worth divorce cases are often complicated due to the size of the estate and the number of parties involved. In addition, there are many different types of marital assets, such as real estate, businesses, art collections, retirement accounts, and personal possessions. These assets must be valued accurately, and the distribution of those assets must take into consideration the tax consequences.
A systematic approach that correctly identifies special issues, as well as solutions, is essential. This includes identifying the special issues, developing a strategy for addressing each issue, and implementing the plan.
An experienced 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, who understands how to manage these kinds of cases is critical to achieving a successful outcome. Contact us today at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.Can I Avoid Going to Court in a High Net Worth Divorce?
The cost of litigation can quickly add up over time. A recent study found that couples spend about $30,000 each year on legal fees alone during a divorce. If both parties are represented by counsel, the average litigant spends nearly $2 million on legal fees just to resolve their case.
Yes, you can avoid going to court in a high net-worth divorce. There are many ways to negotiate a settlement without having to go to trial. These include:
Mediation – This process involves two people working together to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. One party acts as a facilitator, while the other presents his or her side of the story. Both parties must agree to the terms of the deal.
Negotiated Settlement Agreement – This type of arrangement allows spouses to come to a mutual understanding without the assistance of a mediator. They write down what they want, discuss it, and decide on a compromise. Once they sign off on the document, it becomes binding.
Collaborative Law – Similar to mediated settlements, this method relies on two people coming together to make decisions regarding the division of assets and liabilities. However, unlike mediation, there are no rules or guidelines set forth. Instead, the parties work together to find solutions that benefit everyone involved.
Arbitration – An arbitrator decides the outcome of a dispute based on the evidence presented by both sides. He or she does not hear testimony or conduct cross-examinations.
If you suspect your spouse is hiding money, it might be best to start with a conversation with your attorney about getting a divorce. There are some things that you need to know before you go down this path. In this episode, we talk about what steps you should take next.
We discuss whether you should hire a forensic accountant to help you figure out where your spouse is keeping his/her hidden cash. And we explain how to approach your divorce without putting yourself in legal jeopardy.How is Separate and Community Property Determined in a High Net Worth Divorce?
In high-net-worth divorces, it is often necessary to determine whether the property acquired during the marriage is separate or community property. This distinction can make a significant difference in how much each party receives following the dissolution of the marriage. In some cases, one spouse may receive a greater portion of the couple’s assets simply because those assets were considered separate property at the beginning of the marriage.
There are primary ways to establish ownership of property. These include:
Title – Property is owned based on the date of acquisition. For example, if you purchased a car in 2004, it would likely be considered separate property. However, if you bought the same car in 2007, it would likely be classified as community property.
Estoppel – Property is owned based solely on the conduct of the parties. For example, if one spouse spends money on improvements to separate property without telling the other spouse, the expenditures would likely be deemed separate property. On the other hand, if both spouses contribute equally to the purchase of a home, it would most likely be considered community property.
The easiest way to distinguish between separate and community property is to look at the original source of the property. If the property was acquired prior to the marriage, it is usually considered separate property. Conversely, if the property was acquired during the marriage, it is typically considered community property. There are exceptions to this rule, however, including where there is clear evidence that the property was intended to be separate property.
If no such agreement exists, methods for distinguishing separate property from community property at the conclusion of the marriage will vary according to the type of asset involved. Physical assets, such as automobiles, antiques, or jewelry, are frequently established as separate properties through direct testimony supported by title documents, receipts, letters, or other supporting records. Financial assets, such as stock, bonds, mutual funds, or even cash, generally require forensic tracing back through time to their origin using account statements and accepted tracing methodology.