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TX divorce lawyerWhen we think about “gray divorce” in Austin, Texas, we often consider studies that suggest older adults will face more financial difficulties if they decide to file for divorce. However, it is not as common to consider gray divorce in the context of a high asset or high net worth divorce. If a couple has accumulated substantial assets during the marriage and has multi-million dollar investments, does gray divorce really pose the same types of financial risks as a gray divorce involving a middle-class couple? We want to explore some of the financial issues that are common in gray divorces and to consider them in relation to high net worth couples in Texas.

If you are planning for a divorce after a long-term marriage, you should know that a Texas high asset divorce attorney at Powers and Kerr, PLLC can help.

Common Financial Issues in a Gray Divorce

If you have read anything about gray divorce recently, you probably know that much of the research suggests that older couples who get divorced will experience some financial difficulties. To be sure, gray divorce can be particularly hazardous to your emotional and financial health, far worse than doing so at younger ages. For many people, divorce after age 50 is a major financial shock.

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TX high asset divorce lawyerWhile many high net worth divorces in Texas involve spouses with nearly equal earning power or separate assets, a significant number of high asset divorces also involve spouses where only one was the primary earner during the marriage. Whether the other spouse was a stay-at-home parent or simply earned significantly less in the marriage, the prospect of divorce can be extremely daunting for that spouse. Although gender roles are shifting, the non-primary earner spouse often ends up being a woman. And many women who go through high asset divorces in this position do not take all the steps they can to position themselves well financially. It is particularly important for women to consult with financial advisors more often than they do and to work with a divorce attorney who has experience handling high net worth cases.

The following are some of the reasons women should consider a financial advisor in a high net worth divorce. If you need help with your divorce case or have questions about financial matters, an experienced Austin high asset divorce attorney at our firm can speak with you today.

Not Enough Women Work with Financial Experts, But They Should

According to a new study, women do not work with financial advisors and other financial experts nearly as often as they should in divorce cases. This is even true for women who are non-primary earners who are going through high asset divorces. Indeed, over 95 percent of women do not use a financial advisor when going through a divorce despite having financial goals they want to achieve.

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TX high asset divorce lawyerWhat makes a high asset divorce in Austin, TX  a high asset divorce? In other words, how much money does a married couple need to have in order to be considered to have a high net worth divorce? And when a married couple is anticipating a high asset divorce, how might the case differ depending upon the source of the assets and the likelihood that one or both spouses will continue to contribute to those assets in the future, even after they are divided as community property?

To be clear, not all high asset divorces are the same. For example, some involve two spouses who have both contributed significant assets to their community property through high-paying careers and family inheritances, while some involve scenarios in which only one of the spouses was the primary source of the monetary assets that make up the community property. These divorce cases can look quite different from one another, and the experienced Austin high asset divorce attorneys at our firm want to tell you more.

Both Spouses Were High Earners During the Marriage

When both spouses were high earners during the marriage, the prospect of dividing certain types of community assets under Texas law, such as retirement benefits or stock options, may not be as daunting since both parties likely anticipate that they will continue earning a substantial paycheck and benefits after the divorce and may not actually see any of those benefits transferred directly to a spouse. Moreover, when both spouses are high earners, the matter of alimony or spousal maintenance is often much less of a concern.

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TX divorce lawyerWhen you are thinking about the financial issues and economic realities of a high asset divorce in Austin, Texas, one of the things you may be considering is whether it makes sense to stay in your marital home or to sell the property and share the profits. First, you will need to determine whether the home is likely to be classified as community property. If so, it is important to consider all factors in determining whether it makes sense to keep the property. Our Austin high asset divorce lawyers will say more about the complications of keeping a marital home after a high asset divorce.

Is the Marital Home Community Property?

Before you start to consider whether it could make sense to negotiate a property settlement in which you keep the house, you will need to know first whether the house is even likely to be classified as community property.

As you likely know, Texas is a community property state. Accordingly, under Texas law, courts divide community property (or property of the marriage) between the spouses, while usually, separate property is not divided. For many Austin couples, the marital home is considered community property or, at least, part of the value of the home is community property. While a number of Texas couples purchase a home together after they are married, there are a variety of ways that a marital home may have characteristics of both community property and separate property. For example, if a couple uses separate funds to place a down payment on the house but makes mortgage payments from community funds, commingling has occurred and the types of property will need to be traced out.

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TX divorce lawyerHigh asset divorces in Texas are different from other types of divorces. These divorces often involve complex property division and complicated valuations of community property. Since all community property is divisible under Texas law, it is essential that high-value assets be appraised accurately. Beyond complex property division matters, high asset divorces can also be much more complicated in terms of spousal maintenance issues, as well as matters pertaining to child support and even child custody. Given that high asset divorces are so complicated, it is easy to make mistakes if you do not work with an experienced attorney. Those mistakes can cause problems in your divorce case and can, in some situations, be irreparable.

An aggressive Texas high asset divorce lawyer at Powers and Kerr, PLLC can begin working on your case today. In the meantime, the following is a list of common mistakes you should avoid in an Austin high net worth divorce.

Failing to Work with an Expert Appraiser

In a high asset divorce, it is essential to work with an appraiser who can provide an accurate and fair valuation of your valuable property. If you fail to work with an expert appraiser, the court may value property in ways that do not take into account the unique aspects of the property, or your spouse’s valuation may be the sole evidence that the court uses to place a value on the property. You should work with your lawyer to hire an appraiser who has experience providing market and insurance valuations of the particular kinds of property that will be classified as community property in your divorce.

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