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How to Handle a High Net-Worth Divorce in Texas

Divorce is a complicated and challenging experience for anyone involved. There are many things to consider when deciding how to proceed with your divorce. A high-net-worth divorce is even more complex because there are additional issues to consider such as dividing up marital property and determining child custody and support. In addition, you must determine whether you want to pursue a divorce based on fault or not.

If you and your spouse both earn a high income and are well off financially, it does not mean that you will automatically receive a large portion of the couple’s total estate. Your spouse may have earned the money over a long period of time and invested wisely. You could end up receiving very little if your spouse has been frugal and saved during the marriage.

Your best bet is to consult with a lawyer experienced in handling high-net-worth cases. He or she can help you navigate the legal system and provide advice about how to protect yourself.

Potential issues in high net worth divorces

High net-worth divorces tend to be complicated because of the potential for hidden assets. In fact, some people even try to conceal assets from each other in hopes that their spouses won't find out about them. This makes it difficult to determine what exactly is marital property and what isn't.

The best way to avoid problems like this is to make sure that both parties are honest and forthright throughout the process. If you suspect that there are assets that haven't been disclosed, ask questions, and don't let yourself get bullied into believing that everything is fine. You're entitled to know where your money came from and how it got there.

Forward-thinking and advanced planning can offer advantages to litigants

The most important thing to remember about the divorce process is that it is a long road filled with twists and turns. While many people think that planning ahead makes things easier, there are times when it is better to wait and let events unfold naturally. This article outlines some key factors to consider when making decisions regarding your divorce.

Concerns for Business owners

If you own a business, you know how important it is to take care of both the financial aspects and the legal side of things. You probably don't think about the legal side too much, but there are some things you should know about when deciding what to do with the business.

First off, you need to determine whether or not the business belongs entirely to one person or to both people who are married to each other. This is called "community property." When a couple gets married, everything that either of them owns becomes part of the marital estate. So if you're married, anything that you own is considered to belong to both of you.

This includes money earned during the marriage, such as wages and salaries, dividends, interest, bonuses, commissions, and pensions. Also included are any assets acquired during the marriage, including savings accounts, stocks, bonds, real estate, vehicles, boats, tools, furniture, appliances, and furnishings. Anything that you buy together, including clothing, jewelry, household items, and personal effects, becomes part of the marital property. Any debts incurred during the marriage become joint obligations.

The good news is that most states recognize community property. However, it is still possible for a state to decide that certain kinds of businesses are separate property. For example, if you start a business before getting married, the earnings from that business usually become your separate property. If you open a business while you are already married, however, the earnings from that particular business usually become community property.

When you sell a business, half of the proceeds go to the owner of the business and half goes to the owner of the marital estate.

To figure out exactly how much each party receives, you'll need to calculate the fair market value of the business. Fair market value is the price someone would pay for something if he had no obligation to pay taxes, liens, or other bills against it. To find the fair market value of your business, contact an accountant or attorney who specializes in business valuations. They will help you figure out what you owe your spouse and give you an estimate of how much she might receive.

You can use this information to come up with a plan for splitting the business. If you choose to keep the business completely separate, you can just pay your spouse whatever amount you've calculated. But if you want to divide the business evenly, you'll need to factor in the cost of an appraisal.

Retirement and Investment Asset Protection

When you file for divorce, there are certain assets that you and your ex-spouse must divide equally. These include things like real property, bank accounts, vehicles, stocks, bonds, pensions, IRAs, 401k plans, etc. However, there are some assets that you don't want to give up. They're called "community property." This includes items such as joint checking accounts, mutual funds, life insurance policies, annuities, etc.

If you've invested significant amounts of money into retirement accounts, including IRAs and 401k plans, you might wonder what happens to those assets during your divorce. Your best bet is to work with an experienced family law attorney who specializes in asset protection.

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.

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