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Texas complex divorce lawyer, Texas high asset divorce attorneyA closely-held business is often the most valuable asset in a high net worth divorce, from both a financial and emotional standpoint. Financially, a business is often a couple’s primary income source, and many spouses may be hard-pressed to find alternate employment if the business is removed from their lives. Emotionally, all business-owners know the level of investment required to make a business succeed, particularly from a time standpoint. As a result, for many owners, divorce from their businesses may be as emotionally jarring as divorce from their spouses.

In many cases, the ex-spouses can set aside their personal differences, at least to an extent, and the business can continue operating. In other cases, one spouse is able to buy out the other spouse, through a cash payment, an offset elsewhere in the property settlement, or a combination of both. If neither of these things are in the cards and it is in the best interests of everyone that the business be sold, there are a number of issues that often crop up during the valuation process.

Commingling

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Texas divorce attorney, Texas complex litigation lawyer, Texas is one of only nine community property states in the Union. The concept originally comes from Spanish law, and was adopted by Mexico in the 19th century and passed onto its possessions in what is now the modern-day United States. The idea is that marital property belongs to both spouses upon divorce, due to the emotional and financial nature of a marriage. Some states have very strict community property laws (in California, a 50-50 split is mandatory), but Texas has a community property presumption in Chapter 7 of the Family Code. Like most all presumptions, this provision can be overcome in certain high-asset divorces.

Identifying Property

The presumption applies to all property that was acquired during the marriage, unless it was a gift. This dividing line is not always clear, because property is often commingled. Assume that Husband bought a car before the marriage (separate property) and makes the payments from his paycheck (community property). Or assume that Wife inherited a rental house (separate property) and used proceeds from a second mortgage on the marital residence (community property) to fund improvements.

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Texas complex divorce attorney, Texas alimony lawyer, Texas high asset attorney, Unmarried women over 50 are nearly five times more likely to live in poverty as married women in that age group, according to a recent divorce study.

Researchers from Bowling Green University also found a number of other "wide ranging financial consequences" to divorce in this age group. There are several reasons for this reality. First, according to the study, unmarried women receive significantly lower Social Security payments than married ones, mostly because when the system was designed, later-in-life divorce was essentially unheard of. Secondly, women who divorce earlier in life have more time to recoup lost wealth through employment and investment income.

Curiously, the age/income disparity was not present among men of a similar age.

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Texas high asset divorce lawyer, Texas alimony attorney, Texas family law attorney,While many states are restricting their alimony laws under tremendous pressure from advocacy groups, Texas has expanded its spousal support laws in recent years, albeit not by much. As a result, spousal support is still rather difficult to obtain. In other states, alimony is an important element of almost every property settlement in a high-asset divorce, but that is simply not the case in the Lone Star State.

Needs Presumption

To receive any long-term support ("long term" being more than a few months), the requesting spouse must overcome two hurdles in Section 8 of the Family Code.

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Texas complex litigation attorney, Texas high-asset divorce lawyer, asset division in divorce, It is no secret that the higher the account balance, and more diverse the assets inside a 401k, the harder the division is in a high-asset divorce. Recent changes to the law, as well as the interpretation of existing law, has fundamentally changed the way that these retirement accounts are valued and divided pursuant to a marriage dissolution action.

Valuation Methods

The traditional straightforward approach – account balance accumulated during the marriage divided by two – may be inappropriate for some complex property divisions in divorce actions, particularly if the account contains non-cash assets.

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Posted on in Spousal Support

spousal maintenance, Texas high asset divorce attorney, Texas complex litigation lawyer,The Internal Revenue Service recently released supplemental guidelines regarding spousal support payments and income tax consequences.

These payments are tax-deductible, but the IRS will scrutinize the deduction to ensure that the tax return meets certain qualifications. An obligor spouse must make payments in cash or cash equivalent directly to the obligee spouse; these payments are specifically designated as "maintenance" in the temporary or final order; the spouses are physically living in separate households; and the obligation ends upon the payor spouse's death.

"Alimony" does not include voluntary payments or use of property, and the obligor spouse does not have to itemize to claim a deduction.

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Posted on in Complex Divorce

Texas high-asset divorce attorney, Texas mediation lawyer, Cedar Park family law attorney,Most Texas courts require parties to mediate a contested family law matter prior to trial. Other times, the parties may attempt to resolve a case before it comes to that point. Mediation is not always successful, but it is almost always worth a try, particularly in a high-asset divorce.

If mediation is an option, the first step is to choose an effective mediator. It is important to use an attorney who practices family law in the area. Anyone else may be unfamiliar with the legal process, with the law applicable to your case and with the judges in that jurisdiction. If a court has ordered the parties to use a certain person, the judge is sometimes willing to reconsider that directive.

Mediations are normally full-day affairs. The parties meet at a neutral location – typically the mediator's office or a conference facility – and the attorneys make brief opening statements. Afterwards, the parties retire to separate rooms and the mediator conducts shuttle diplomacy by conveying offers and counteroffers until an agreement is reached.

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complex property litigation, hidden assets, high-asset divorce, IRS audit, trigger IRS audit, Williamson County complex divorce attorneyFor many people, going through a high-asset divorce can be a very emotional and frustrating time. They often cannot imagine dealing with anything that could be similar, or even worse, than the divorce process. However, there is an all too common occurrence many high-asset divorce litigants find themselves in—an audit by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The IRS maintains one of the largest databanks in this country. The databank is not connected to any Internet server due to the classified information. But the agency is very much aware when someone gets married (tax returns must be filed either under married filing separately or married filing jointly) and when someone gets divorced (tax returns are filed either single or head of household).

When couples divorce, they are required to disclose all financial assets in order for the court to determine an equitable division of the marital estate. Many high-asset divorces require the services of a forensic accountant because it is all too common for one spouse to attempt to hide property, income, and other financial assets from the other spouse. The evidence the forensic accountant discovers is then used by a judge to determine that division. The judge is also required by law to report the evidence to the IRS, who will then order a tax audit.

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