Additional Factors to Consider
Divorce, while already a stressful process, becomes more complex as additional assets are taken into consideration. For those who have a higher net worth, such as business owners, physicians, dentists, attorneys, or engineers, additional consideration must be given toward issues such as asset division, buying the other spouse out of a closely held business interest, community versus separate property, inception of title, and the need for business valuations. It is important to make some initial determinations at the onset of the divorce on the approaches to take in dividing complex assets and how to minimize costs.
High-net-worth individuals should seek the assistance of a legal professional to protect their interests and to handle the entirety of the case with professionalism and care.
Assets to Watch
Higher net worth individuals may have larger numbers of assets due to numerous factors, such as ownership of a business or private practice or participation in the stock market. Regardless of the method of wealth accumulation, these individuals should keep accurate records of their assets and interests, including but not limited to the following examples:
Real estate, including place of residence, vacation homes, and investment properties.
Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and cryptocurrencies.
Business interests or professional practices.
Any executive compensation.
Texas is a community property state, meaning that any property acquired during the course of the marriage is presumed to be community property and, therefore, up for division during the divorce. This law is true regardless of the worth of either individual. For example, if a physician becomes a partner in a medical practice during the marriage, then ownership interest in the practice is a community interest that is divisible.
Texas law requires that judges distribute property in a “just and right manner.” While a judge may divide property equally, another judge may take other factors such as earning potential, fault in the break up of the marriage, and needs of a child into consideration and may make appropriate division determinations based on these.
In order to better protect their assets throughout the divorce, hiring the right attorney can be greatly beneficial to business owners or private practice owners.
Protecting Assets Throughout the Divorce
High-net-worth individuals should go to great lengths to protect their assets in a divorce. One way to do this is to hire a professional to calculate the value of all assets. Not only does doing so create an accurate total of assets that can be used to give a rough estimate of a potential outcome, but having everything listed out may prevent the possibility of an asset remaining hidden by accident. These hidden assets, despite the lack of intent, could lead to penalties that may damage the final settlement.
Another way to offer greater defense to a high-net-worth individual is the assistance of a legal professional skilled in high-net-worth divorces. Putting together a “legal” team for the case is critical such as retaining an expert for tracing or business evaluation, obtaining private appraisals of real property, etc. Additional factors such as when a partnership or business interest was formed, buy/sell agreements, are all key. A lawyer can provide great help throughout the entirety of the legal process and can handle all the various points of contention that may come up in the divorce.
Hire a Sugar Land High-Net-Worth Divorce Attorney
Individuals who have worked hard to build a business or private practice should not have to worry about what the future of their work may look like after a divorce. Hiring a skilled high-asset divorce attorney can provide greater peace of mind throughout an already stressful time. Kutty Law Firm, PLLC is here to help you protect what you have built and to defend what is yours. Put yourself in the right hands and let our team take care of the rest.