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TX divorce lawyerA high asset divorce does not necessarily involve contested litigation. In many cases, the divorcing spouses are eager to resolve their outstanding issues and end their marriage as quickly as possible. To facilitate this, Texas law does allow for mediated settlement agreements (MSA).

An MSA is a legally binding contract signed by both parties. A mediator serves as a neutral facilitator who assists the parties, and their attorneys, in reaching an agreement. But unlike an arbitrator, the mediator does not have the legal authority to force a decision. The spouses are still free to abandon mediation at any time and take their case to litigation.

Texas Supreme Court Clarifies Law Governing Mediated Settlement Agreements

The Texas Supreme Court recently addressed an important legal question regarding MSAs: Are such agreements enforceable if they are signed before either spouse actually files for divorce?


TX divorce lawyerIt’s usually a good idea for those who are going through a divorce, especially couples with unique or valuable assets, to sit down and make a list of all unusual assets that might otherwise get left off a list of marital property. To ensure that all of your own property is accounted for and that any property settlement agreements that are presented to you and your spouse are fair to both parties, please contact a member of our Leander high asset divorce legal team today.

Unusual Assets

A couple’s marital assets usually consist of any property that was earned or brought into the home during the marriage itself. In fact, some separate property, which is made up of assets that were brought into a marriage, can become marital assets if they are commingled with marital property. While most couples remember to account for the family home, vehicles, real estate, and bank accounts when creating a list of their marital assets, it is not uncommon for a family to forget to list and value more unusual assets, such as:

  • Animals, including not only the family pet, but also livestock;
  • Memberships to gyms, golf courses, and country clubs;
  • Benefits from previous employers, such as pensions and retirement accounts;
  • Pre-paid cemetery plots;
  • Capital loss carryovers for prior tax returns;
  • Life insurance plans;
  • Interest acquired from loans made to relatives or friends;
  • Digital assets, including not only websites and blogs, but also cyber currency, such as Bitcoin;
  • Trademarks and patents;
  • Airline reward points, such as frequent flyer miles;
  • Credit card reward points;
  • Royalties;
  • Timeshare interests; and
  • The contents of a safe deposit box.

Even valuable assets in the family home can be overlooked during divorce, including:


TX divorce lawyerDissolving a marriage is complicated and often has the potential of becoming an emotional and difficult process. Those risks tend to be especially high for those who are involved in a high asset divorce and own unique assets, such as a business, as they could be required to sell the company, or buy out their soon to be ex-spouse’s interest, both of which could cause significant financial strain. Obtaining an accurate business valuation is critical to ensuring that any property settlement entered into by a couple is fair, so if you or your spouse own a business and are considering divorce, it is critical to speak with an experienced high asset divorce attorney who can ensure that your assets are properly appraised.

Determining a Company’s Value

Hiring an expert in business appraisals is critical when it comes to placing a value on a company. This type of appraisal is complicated, as it requires a prediction of the potential future value of the company, as well as its past and current value. During this analysis, business appraisers will take a number of factors into account, including the company’s:

  • Expenses;
  • Earning history;
  • Earning capacity;
  • Dividend-paying capacity; and
  • Stock prices.

Depending on the method of valuation used, an appraiser may also be required to evaluate the price of company equipment and other tangible assets, such as:


Texas divorce lawyerOwning a business with a spouse is a relatively common practice, and while many of these types of businesses are successful and lucrative, they can also raise a host of complicated issues in the event of a divorce. This is because couples who own companies together must grapple with dividing the business if they later decide to dissolve their marriage, which can be difficult if both parties wish to retain an active role in management or there is disagreement regarding the value of the company itself. For help addressing the fate of your own company after divorce, please contact a member of our high asset divorce legal team for advice.

The Importance of Business Appraisals

The first step in these types of cases is to determine the value of the business in question, as this will affect how and whether the company should be divided between the spouses. Like any other asset, there are professionals who specialize in appraising businesses. These individuals assist divorcing couples who own a business together by determining the fair market value of the company, which refers to the amount that a buyer would be willing to pay for a business from a seller who wants to sell but is under no necessity to do so.


Texas family lawyerMost people don’t enter into marriage with the expectation that they will later get divorced. Similarly, couples who start businesses together usually do not anticipate running into any obstacles regarding ownership and control. The reality, however, is that many couples who are also business owners will face complicated issues in the event of a divorce, so if you and your spouse are contemplating divorce and you both share an interest in a family business, we strongly encourage you to speak with an experienced high asset divorce attorney who can explain your legal options.

Retaining Co-ownership

Once a couple who owns a family business decides to get a divorce, they must start addressing the future of the company. For some couples, retaining co-ownership is a good option, especially for those who are deeply committed to their enterprise. However, it can be difficult to maintain a close working relationship with an ex-spouse, although many business owners are able to do so through careful scheduling and focusing only on the business aspects of their relationship.


Texas divorce attorneyWhile many people think that the property division process during divorce only involves splitting up assets, such as bank accounts, the family home, or personal property, the reality is that those who are going through a divorce must also divide debt. Like assets, debts are divided based on their status as either community property or separate property, as well as a number of other factors, making it especially important for the divorcing parties to have a firm understanding of the origins of their debts. To ensure that you aren’t saddled with debt that is your spouse’s responsibility, please contact a high asset divorce attorney who has the resources and experience necessary to help you reach a fair settlement.

Marital Debt

Although it is true that debts incurred by one spouse during a marriage are generally presumed to be community property debt, which means that they must be divided equitably upon divorce, Texas law also takes other factors into account when dividing debts. For example, debts incurred during marriage could end up being the responsibility of one spouse if he or she solely incurred the debt. If, for instance, one spouse took out a credit card in his name during his marriage, he will most likely be held solely responsible for that debt, but only if the debt was used to purchase items from which only he benefitted. If, on the other hand, the debt was used to buy necessities, then the debt holder’s spouse becomes indirectly responsible for them, regardless of whether his or her name is actually attached to the debt. What qualifies as a “necessary” depends on the specific circumstances of a case, although at a minimum, necessaries include the following:


acrimonious divorce, agreement incident to divorce, Cedar Parks high-asset divorce attorney, child custody, complex divorce settlement, divorce decree access, divorce decrees, high-asset divorce, high-powered business executives, utilizing an AIDSociety today exhibits an insatiable appetite to learn the details of the lives of those who are in the public eye—be they celebrities, professional athletes, or high-powered business executives. This is evident by the number of tabloids one can find at any supermarket checkout, with headlines screaming rumors and innuendos. This type of invasion of privacy can also occur for couples who are going through a high-asset divorce in Texas.

Too often, details of an acrimonious divorce and/or child custody negotiations are somehow leaked to the media. Details of alleged extra-marital affairs, sexually transmitted diseases, domestic violence, and other situations that can destroy careers suddenly become fodder for the press. Couples need to be fully aware that the documents and details of their divorce will eventually make their way to the public.

Once a judge enters a final divorce decree, that document becomes part of the public record. Everything that is contained in that decree, including assets and liabilities, is available for anyone to look up. Some jurisdictions even allow on-line access to divorce decrees.

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