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TX divorce lawyerEven individuals who take great care when identifying, categorizing, and appraising assets during the divorce process, can overlook things that could impact their financial well-being down the road. This is especially common in cases where couples own particularly unique or valuable assets, such as a business interest, so if you fall under this category, it is important to consult with an experienced high asset divorce lawyer who can ensure that your interests are protected.

Protecting Your Business

Under Texas law, property and assets obtained by a couple before marriage are not considered marital property and so are not subject to division upon divorce. While this legal practice can be used as a form of protecting one’s assets, it should not be the only source of protection for those who own a business interest. This is largely due to the fact that even if a business was created before a person’s marriage, it could still be impacted by divorce, especially if the company is successful and growing and the other spouse had a hand in the business’s increased value. In these cases, the non-owner spouse could be awarded a portion of the increase, or appreciation, in value, which could be a considerable amount if the business owner was just starting out at the time of the marriage, and the business has since become successful.

Active Appreciation

The term active appreciation is used to describe any increase in value resulting from the actual effort of an individual, usually the business owner, to improve a company. When the parties involved in the business are married, but later decide to get divorced, the court could require the individuals to divide the increase in value, but only if the non-owner spouse helped improve the business through:

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TX divorce lawyerOne of the most common points of contention in any divorce is how a couple’s assets will be divided upon dissolution of their marriage. Although most couples understand that this will involve dividing relatively common assets, such as bank accounts, the family home, and vehicles, it’s important to remember that more unusual property, like retirement accounts, will also need to be divided. In most cases, at least some of the contents of a retirement account are considered marital property, which means that they must be divided equitably between the spouses. While this could mean that each spouse receives an equal share of the benefits, this is not always true, as courts are generally guided by what would qualify as equitable distribution when making their decisions.

Whether your retirement account pays out on a regular basis or you can withdraw as you see fit depends in large part on the type of account in question and the contents of your Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). To learn more about dividing your own retirement account upon divorce, please contact a member of our high asset divorce legal team today.

What Is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order?

QDROs, or Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, are court orders that lay out the ground rules for how a retirement account will be used following a divorce, including how its contents will be divided. These documents are necessary for most types of retirement accounts, including 401(k)s and IRAs and are used to verify a person’s right to receive a portion of the benefits paid out of a retirement account. Basically, this means that QDROs are used to name a former spouse as an alternate payee upon divorce, even if he or she didn’t actually participate in the plan.

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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:

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TX divorce lawyerCouples who live in Texas and have unique or diverse assets and are considering divorce may want to consider filing by the end of 2018, as new federal tax laws that affect alimony payments are set to go into effect next year. To learn more about filing for divorce and the effect that the new tax law could have on your own case, please contact one of our dedicated Cedar Park high asset divorce attorneys for assistance.

Current Law

Under current federal law, those who pay alimony to ex-spouses can deduct those payments when calculating their taxable income. Similarly, alimony recipients must include spousal maintenance payments when calculating their income. This has proven to be extremely helpful to taxpayers who are being taxed at a high rate based on their income. In fact, the IRS estimates that as many as 600,000 people take advantage of this deduction. However, next year, this option will no longer be available.

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TX divorce lawyerDivorce can be expensive, especially for couples who have accumulated significant assets or are high wage earners. Fortunately, there are steps that divorcing parties can take to reduce their costs and increase the odds of reaching an amicable and fair settlement. To learn more about preparing for a high net worth divorce, please contact a Georgetown high asset divorce lawyer today.

Evaluating Your Financial Situation by Identifying All Marital Assets

Almost any type of property that has value can be considered an asset when it comes to dissolving a marriage, so divorcing couples should keep this in mind when listing all property and debts and include not only real estate, vehicles, and business interests, but also:

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Texas divorce lawyerAlthough filing for divorce is a stressful time, it is still important that those who have decided to dissolve their marriage take certain initial steps. For instance, the parties involved will still need to pay household expenses, care for children, and perhaps relocate. Failing to address these issues early on can add more tension to an already stressful situation, which is why Texas family courts are often asked to step in and issue temporary orders before any actual divorce proceedings take place. For help representing your own interests in a petition regarding temporary divorce orders, please contact one of our experienced Georgetown high asset divorce attorneys for advice.

The Importance of Temporary Orders

When a couple decides to get divorced, it is often in their best interest to request a hearing for temporary orders. As their name suggests, these types of orders aren’t necessarily the ones that will remain in place when a divorce is finalized. Instead, their purpose is to provide a quick resolution to important issues until divorce proceedings actually begin. In high asset divorce cases, these orders are especially important because they could have a significant bearing on a series of critical issues, including:

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Texas divorce lawyerThe financial issues that couples must tackle during divorce are some of the most complicated problems that come with dissolving a marriage, especially for couples with significant or diverse assets. In these situations, consulting with a forensic accountant who can help identify concealed assets or appraise unique assets is crucial, so if you and your spouse have filed for divorce and have varied assets, you should consider speaking with an experienced high asset divorce attorney who can help connect you to a well-respected and efficient forensic accountant.

What Is Forensic Accounting?

There are four main financial components to most divorces: assets, income, debts, and expenses. Forensic accountants can help with each of these areas by collecting and analyzing financial documents and then communicating the findings to the clients or the court. This involves completing a wide range of smaller asks, including:

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Texa high asset divorce attorneyHaving a professional practice can make the divorce process much more difficult, as the parties are usually required to value and divide not only personal property but also professional assets and business interests. These types of challenges are best handled by an experienced high asset divorce attorney, so if you have decided to file for divorce and either you or your spouse has a professional practice, please contact our legal team for an initial evaluation of your case.

Dividing Marital Property

Under Texas law, couples who dissolve their marriages must divide all marital assets equitably. This applies to the contents of bank accounts, retirement funds, stocks, real estate, personal belongings, and even business interests. In fact, even when a spouse doesn’t have a specific interest in a business, as is usually the case when one spouse runs a professional practice, he or she could still have a claim to a portion of the business’s value, although not to the practice itself.

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