The process of going through a divorce is rarely an easy one. However, certain divorces are much more challenging than others. Often, these involve couples with a higher net worth, a business, or other situations that make the divorce more complex. The more complex a divorce is, the more issues there are to work out and the greater the potential for disagreement. At the Law Office of Jason Wright, we represent individuals in complex and high net-worth divorces throughout Travis County. Our founding attorney, Jason Wright, takes a practical approach to divorce, encouraging his clients to focus on what is most important to them, their children and their future. As a skilled negotiator and litigator, attorney Wright can effectively resolve even the most complex divorce cases, whatever the level of agreement between you and your spouse.
What Makes a Divorce More Complex?
All divorces present some issues that can be hard to resolve, especially when spouses can agree on very little. However, divorces involving the following add an extra layer of complexity:
• Valuation of a business
• Dissolution of a business
• Dividing rental properties
• Dividing assets in a retirement account
• Uneven income between the spouses
• Pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements
• Tax implications
• Foreign assets
• Dividing stocks, bonds and other financial instruments
These matters can be complex for several reasons and often require assistance from a professional or expert witness. For example, in some situations, the court may need to hear from an expert witness when determining the valuation of a business. In other cases, assets cannot be easily sold, and the parties (or the court) must devise an arrangement taking this into account. Some spouses hide assets during a divorce, requiring the assistance of a forensic accountant.
Dividing Assets in a High Net-Worth Divorce
Regardless of which spouse’s name is listed as the property owner, the presumption under the law is that once a petition for divorce has been filed, all property obtained during the marriage is “community property.”
However, assets that either spouse owned before entering into the marriage, assets that were gifted to one spouse during the marriage, or assets that were inherited during the marriage are considered separate property.
Separate property is not divided between the spouses, and the spouse who originally owned the assets will retain full ownership. However, a party wishing to establish something as their separate property must show the court by providing “clear and convincing” evidence. This is a fairly high burden of proof. The parties are entitled to a “just and right” division of the community estate. Factors the court will consider when dividing community property include:
• Each spouse’s level of education
• Each spouse’s needs
• The age and health of the spouses
• The employability of each spouse
• The needs of the couple’s children
• Which spouse will be raising the couple’s children
An Inability to Agree
While the type and amount of a couple’s assets play into whether a divorce will be complex, sometimes even a seemingly straightforward divorce can become complex if the spouses cannot agree on anything. Additionally, if one spouse suffers from a mental health issue, including addiction, the process can become much more complicated. Working with an experienced attorney can help spouses bridge the gap between themselves and their spouse in hopes of working out some of these issues, understanding that if an agreement cannot be reached, the judge will end up resolving the issues.
If you are in the process of a complex or high net-worth divorce, reach out to the Law Office of Jason Wright. At the Law Office of Jason Wright, we help individuals effectively navigate even the most complex and challenging divorces. Attorney Wright takes a practical approach to every divorce case he handles, listening to his client’s needs every step of the way. When possible, he will work with your spouse and their attorney to come up with a favorable agreement. However, as an experienced litigator, he is comfortable in the courtroom when an agreement is off the table. To learn more and to schedule, a free consultation with Attorney Wright, call 512-884-1221 today. You can also reach us through our online contact form.
To get in touch with us, give us a call at 512-884-1221 or submit the form below. We are committed to zealously working to find the solution that is best for you and your family.