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TX high asset divorce lawyerAll divorces are complex and potentially emotional. Dissolving the marriage of a couple with unique or significant assets, however, tends to be especially difficult, as it often comes with a host of unique legal challenges, so if you are thinking about filing for divorce in Texas, it is important to speak with an experienced high asset divorce lawyer who can advise you.

What Is a High Asset Divorce?

Narrowing down what qualifies as a high asset divorce can be difficult, but the following are all good indicators that a divorce will involve considerable assets and come with unique challenges:

  • Both parties earn a significant income.
  • The parties own multiple real estate properties, which could include vacation homes, undeveloped real estate, and rental properties, in addition to the family home.
  • The parties own a number of vehicles, including motorcycles, boats, and vintage cars.
  • One or both parties own business interests.
  • The parties have a diverse investment portfolio.
  • The couple has significant savings, retirement benefits, or life insurance policies.
  • The parties own collectible items, such as jewelry, artwork, and memorabilia.

Couples who own some or all of these types of properties should have a thorough understanding of Texas’ community property laws, which require divorcing couples to divide their assets in an equitable and fair manner. While this could mean that a couple’s marital assets are divided down the middle, it could also result in one party being granted a greater portion of certain properties. Ultimately, what is considered fair and equitable will depend upon the parties’ unique circumstances.

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Texas divorce lawyerCouples who divorce in Texas must divide their assets on an equitable and fair basis. This includes bank account funds, vehicles, real estate, personal property, retirement funds, and even debt. However, property division can become difficult when a diverse range of assets are involved. For example, many high asset divorces involve the division of stock options, which are divisible in some, but not all situations. If you own stock options and are concerned about how or if they will be divided upon divorce, please contact an experienced Cedar Park high asset divorce attorney who can explain your options.

Separate Property Calculations

Like any other type of property owned by a couple, stocks can be divided during divorce, but only if they are considered marital property. If, for instance, a spouse owned stock as separate property prior to the marriage, he or she could retain sole ownership of those stocks. However, this only applies if the spouse participates in a stock option plan that is provided by their employer and the option or stock was granted before the marriage, but needed to continuously remain employed during the marriage before the option could be exercised. In these cases, the spouse’s interest will be equal to the fraction of the option in which the numerator is the sum of:

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Texas family lawyerCouples who are going through a high asset divorce often experience certain difficulties that are not faced by other couples. For instance, because the parties in these situations have a wide range of assets to divide, the dissolution process can become much more difficult, especially if the couple disagrees about who should retain what property. Dividing retirement funds can be particularly complicated, so if you and your spouse are going through a divorce and you have questions or concerns about dividing the contents of a retirement fund or pension, it is critical to speak with an experienced high asset divorce attorney who can ensure that you receive an equitable portion of your family’s assets.

The Importance of Accurate Record-Keeping

Unlike other types of accounts, retirement funds are not always checked on a regular basis. For this reason, many people forget how much has been contributed to their account at any given time. While this may not cause any serious difficulties in a person’s day to day life, it can become a problem during a divorce when having accurate and extensive records of account contributions can be instrumental in determining who will receive what portion of an account’s funds. This is because how a court divides a couple’s property depends on when the assets were accumulated. For instance, property owned prior to marriage will remain in the sole possession of the party who purchased or received it. Assets accumulated during the marriage, including the contents of a retirement account, on the other hand, will be divided equitably between the couple.

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Posted on in Divorce

Texas divorce attorneyDissolving a marriage does not necessarily have to be contentious. In fact, many couples are able to come to decisions regarding custody, child support, and property division without a judge’s intervention. When this is possible, it can significantly cut down on expenses, save time, and help protect children from the more emotional aspects of divorce. Mediation is one of the best ways to achieve this type of result, so if you and your spouse are both focused on an amicable divorce, please contact a member of our experienced divorce legal team to learn more about your options.

What Does the Mediation Process Involve?

Mediations are one of the most popular methods of negotiating a divorce settlement and involve a meeting between both parties, their respective lawyers, and a neutral third party. This third party, known as a mediator, is tasked with helping couples resolve the following kinds of issues by facilitating discussion and negotiation:

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Texas divorce attorneyMany couples are able to dissolve their marriage amicably and require little to no court intervention in coming to a child custody or spousal maintenance arrangement. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, especially when one of the parties suspects the other of substance abuse or hiding assets. In these situations, it can be tempting for one party to look through the other spouse’s emails or text messages in an effort to find information that can be used in court. This is almost never a good idea and can actually lead to criminal charges, in addition to jeopardizing visitation time and other child custody matters. If you believe that your spouse has been going through your private electronic information, you should strongly consider speaking with an experienced complex divorce attorney who can explain your legal options.

Federal Law

Although checking a spouse’s email or cell phone may seem innocent enough, it actually qualifies as a violation of federal law, which prohibits unauthorized access to private email accounts. Recently, a Michigan man who suspected his wife of having an affair and logged onto her email without permission was even charged with the felony offense of misusing a computer, which is punishable by up to five years imprisonment. For this reason, parties to a divorce should be wary of invading each other’s privacy by checking their email or reading their text messages without permission.

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Texas divorce lawyer, Texas family attorneyMany couples who wish to end their marriage do not have to obtain a divorce, but can instead file for an annulment. However, there are only a few specific justifications for annulling a marriage, one of which is that one of the parties was underage at the time of the marriage. Filing for an annulment is complicated, so if you have questions about annulling your marriage or the marriage of your underage child, it is important to contact an experienced divorce attorney who can explain your legal options.

Underage Marriage

Until recently, Texas law allowed parents to consent to the marriage of their child as long as the minor was at least 16 years old. This was true even if one of the child’s parents did not consent to the marriage. Furthermore, a parent could consent to the marriage of a child of any age as long as a judge approved. Governor Abbott recently signed a new bill into law which prohibits people who are under the age of 18 years old from getting married unless they are emancipated minors. In Texas, minors are only permitted to file for emancipation if they are 16 years old, so now the youngest age that a person can get married in Texas is 16 years old.

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Posted on in Divorce

Texas divorce attorney, Texas complex litigation lawyerIn the midsts of the holidays, not everyone is full of cheer and happiness. Thousands of homes across the country are in the middle of strife and anxiety, more than that associated with entertaining for the holidays. Recent studies show an increase in divorce cases following the holidays. Many psychologists offer possible reasoning for the rise.

Bad Gifts

In most divorces following the gift-giving seasons, the gift actually may be the straw figuratively breaks the camel’s back. Although the gift is not the primary reason for divorcing someone after several years or even decades of marriage, each year the other spouse has renewed hope that this year will be better. When a gift is given that solidifies incompatibility between spouses, many lose the faith of improving conditions. Unless the gift is truly outlandish, the recipient has predetermined based on other factors that unless their spouse “knocks this one out of the park,” the marriage is over.

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Posted on in Divorce

Texas divorce laws, Texas complex litigation attorney, Texas complex divorce lawyer,Many litigants and practitioners consider these forms of alternative dispute resolution to be similar. There are some commonalities, not the least of which is that they are both negotiation-based, as opposed to litigation-based, methods for dispute resolution. But comparing this alternative to complex property litigation with mediation is a little like comparing this article to William Shakespeare's literary epic Hamlet: while there are some similarities, the comparison is by no means apples to apples.

Functional Differences

Collaborative law is a comprehensive litigation alternative that includes a discovery component. During this process, the parties freely exchange relevant documents, and any disputes are worked out between the parties. In a similar vein, the spouses themselves are typically responsible for gathering financial and other documents, so they feel invested in the process. If there is need for an expert, such as an accountant, the parties divide the cost.

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