High Value Asset & Complex Property Division
The process of going through a divorce is stressful on its own. If your divorce includes dividing up complex and high-value assets, you will face some unique challenges. The Dallas-based attorneys at Bennett Weston have significant experience representing high-asset couples whose divorce requires complex property division. No matter how overwhelming and complex your divorce, he will use his insight and tenacity to represent your best interests skillfully.
Our Financial Experience Makes the Difference
In the majority of high-asset divorces, the couple’s financial holdings and marital estate are usually quite complex. With sophisticated accounts and businesses as part of the community property, the tax consequences of property division become extremely important. When you have significant assets to protect, you can trust the experience of Bennett Weston.
Dividing the marital estate in high-asset divorce cases is a complicated task that requires the skill of experienced attorneys. At Bennett, Weston, LaJone & Turner, P.C., our attorneys have experience with business and corporate law. We understand the importance of accurate valuation and maximizing your assets by structuring the division of property according to each party’s tax liability.
Texas is a Community Property State
Under Texas law, any property a spouse acquired before the marriage is considered separate property. Conversely, any property either spouse acquired during the marriage is considered community property. A divorce settlement cannot divide up a spouse’s separate property in the divorce. In Texas, only community property is subject to division between spouses in a divorce.
Complex Property Division in Divorce
The marital estate will be divided according to Texas community property law. We can help you determine which assets and debts are marital property, which are separate and which are sole management community property. Assets that may be divided include:
- Real estate holdings
- Vehicles, jewelry, art and high-end furnishings
The marital debts must also be divided during property division. This may include taxes, mortgages, other loans, credit card balances and any judgments against both of you.
Asset Valuing and Categorization Is Essential
Sometimes one spouse will claim that he or she acquired property before the marriage to spare the property from division. Other times, one spouse may try to undervalue property to benefit him or herself. When divorcing couples have high-value and complex assets, it is easier for an incorrect valuation or categorization to slip by. When couples own the following complex assets, they can make dividing property especially difficult during a divorce proceeding:
- Complex Real Estate Investments: A spouse might argue that a house or real estate investment is not community property so that he or she can keep it separately in its entirety. The attorneys at Bennett Weston fight to make sure that the valuation and division of complex real estate investments serve their clients’ best interests.
- Retirement Accounts and Stock Options: While 401(k) accounts may be easy to divide, pension accounts present unique challenges. Since Texas is a community property state, only the percentage of the pension earned during the marriage faces division between the spouses. Calculating what rate of a pension a spouse acquired during the marriage requires an attorney skilled in financial analysis. Those dividing a military pension must follow the procedure outlined in the Uniform Services Former Spouses Protection Act. The act specifies four different methods of dividing the pension. Stocks and stock options can also be challenging to separate during a complicated, high-asset Texas divorce.
- Complicated Texas Business Holdings: Many people are surprised that when one spouse starts a business during marriage, that business becomes community property. Even if one spouse did not participate in the ownership or management of the company, the business would be divided during the divorce. The couple must determine the value the business and whether they would like to sell the business or continue running it while retaining each of their defined financial interests.
Proper Business Valuation
Our attorneys regularly advise clients who own businesses as part of a marital estate. We know the tax consequences of each business entity; we also understand the dissolution of businesses and their assets. We work closely with forensic accountants who can accurately value a business or review an existing valuation for businesses and investments such as:
- Privately and publicly held companies
- Professional practices
- Stock options and portfolios
- Oil and gas rights and royalties
- Deferred compensation plans
- Retirement plans, IRAs and 401(k)s
Once your marital business interests are valued, we will begin pursuing a property settlement agreement that is in your best interest. If necessary, we will take your case to trial to protect your rights. To make an appointment with a Dallas divorce asset protection attorney, call (214) 691-1776, or contact us online.
Contact an Experienced Property Division Lawyer
We understand that divorce is an overwhelming and stressful process. When it comes to highly contested divorces involving high-value assets, tensions run high. The attorney that you choose is even more critical. Our property division lawyers will fight aggressively for your best interests throughout the divorce process. For more information concerning complex property division in divorce, contact Bennett Weston today.