Dividing marital assets can be a contentious aspect of divorce, especially if the couple shares considerable wealth. Matters become even more complicated if one spouse holds business interests, professional practices, real estate holdings, and other assets from the other spouse, or if one partner tries to claim a portion of assets that are not rightfully theirs.
High net-worth individuals often have easy access to expert legal advice, which can disadvantage a spouse with fewer resources. If you believe divorce might be in your future, you should consult a high-asset divorce lawyer in The Colony immediately. A dedicated divorce attorney could help you take proactive legal steps to preserve your personal assets and property during this separation.
Divorcing spouses do not have rights to their partner’s individual property. Individual property is anything that a person owned before their marriage. For example, inheritances or gifts to the individual, and not the couple, are considered individual property. Additionally, any money a spouse receives to compensate for personal injuries is personal property.
However, the way a spouse treats their individual property could indicate that a court should treat it as marital property. An example would be a spouse receiving a personal injury settlement and the couple using the money to buy a bigger home to serve as the family’s primary residence. A court is likely to find the house to be community property, even though the couple purchased it with individual property.
Although the law recognizes personal property, if there is a dispute, the spouse claiming an asset is personal property must present “clear and convincing evidence” to prove it. If the ownership of an asset is contested, a high-asset divorce attorney in The Colony could help a spouse compile or refute such evidence.
Texas Family Code §3.003 outlines how divorcing couples must divide their property in this state. Community property belongs to both spouses equally. Everything either spouse possesses during the marriage or at the time of divorce is community property unless it meets the criteria for individual property. Despite the spouses having equal rights to the community property, they need not split it 50/50. Courts require that asset division be fair under the circumstances.
A judge will consider multiple elements when deciding whether property division is fair. These factors could include:
Judges will also consider blame-worthy behavior when distributing community property. If one spouse attempted to hide assets from the other to protect them from distribution, a judge might award the other spouse a more significant portion of the community property. Similarly, if adultery was the reason for the divorce, the innocent spouse might receive a larger share of the community property. An experienced family law attorney in The Colony could explain how a party’s fault could impact high-asset property division during a divorce.
Divorcing spouses must make complete financial disclosures to each other. This can be a significant concern for high-asset couples who would otherwise prefer to keep their finances private for business or security reasons.
Although spouses must share information with each other, keeping property division issues out of court helps a couple maintain their privacy. Mediation, or another form of alternate dispute resolution (ADR), allows the couple to retain control over asset division and keep the resulting agreement and supporting documents private. A high-asset divorce attorney in The Colony could represent a spouse at ADR to ensure they understand the implications of all aspects of a proposed divorce settlement.
Getting divorced is never easy, but splits between high-net-worth couples can get especially contentious and complicated. When faced with such issues, you need a legal representative who understands the unique problems that arise when a couple with considerable financial resources wants to divorce.
A high-asset divorce lawyer in The Colony offers legal acumen and a sophisticated understanding of finance, tax, and business issues. Contact our firm to get started today.
Our Law Firm’s approach to your case is based on individual circumstances. Whether it is a simple negotiated settlement, or it requires an aggressive approach, we will protect and defend your best interests.