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High Net-Worth Divorce
With a Lot at Stake, You Need a McKinney High Net-Worth Divorce Lawyer
For high-net-worth individuals, getting divorced involves a number of unique considerations. These predominantly involve the distribution of the marital estate, with each spouse potentially being entitled to a substantial portion of the couple’s community property. In order to ensure a “just and right” division of your joint assets consistent with Texas law, you need to have a clear understanding of the assets that are (and aren’t) subject to distribution, as well as the factors that can affect each spouse’s entitlement to a share of their marital estate.
Property Considerations for High-Net-Worth Divorces in Texas
Whether you or your spouse brought substantial wealth into your marriage or you accumulated a sizeable estate during the time that you were married, protecting your property interests in your divorce requires a thorough understanding of the various legal, tax and practical considerations involved. When we represent high-net-worth clients in divorce proceedings, some of the types of issues we typically need to address include:
- Identifying Separate and Community Property – In Texas, community property assets are subject to distribution in a divorce, while separate property assets are not. Assets that constitute separate property generally include those acquired prior the marriage and those acquired by gift or inheritance of a single spouse. But, there are notable exceptions to these general rules; and, when attempting to appropriately divide a sizable estate, the first step is to identify the assets that are on the table.
- Ownership of Real Property – Which spouse will keep the family home? What about vacation and rental properties? Are there any mortgages outstanding? High-net-worth spouses can agree to divide their real estate holdings along with their other community property assets, or they can sell their properties and divide the proceeds.
- Retirement and Investment Accounts – Retirement accounts receive special treatment during the divorce process, while investment accounts are treated similarly to other types of tangible and intangible property. Each spouse’s interest in these accounts must be valued appropriately in order to ensure an equitable distribution.
- Privately-Held Businesses – Ownership interests in privately-held businesses are treated similarly to other types of assets as well, although there are obviously some unique considerations involved. Company ownership documents will not necessarily be determinative of spouses’ rights in a divorce; and, in many cases, it will be necessary to address management and control rights as well.
- Deferred Compensation and Other Unique Assets – Deferred compensation, restricted stock plans, stock options and other unique assets all require special consideration during the divorce process.
- Tax Planning and Liability – Property dispositions during a divorce have the potential trigger substantial tax liability. Careful tax planning can minimize the spouses’ collective tax burden, and addressing property division and spousal support together can help spouses achieve the most tax-advantageous outcome to their divorce.
Contact the McKinney High Net-Worth Divorce Lawyers at Nordhaus & Nordhaus, PC
If you are preparing to go through a divorce and would like to speak with one of our McKinney divorce lawyers, we encourage you to contact us for a complimentary initial consultation. To schedule an appointment at our offices in McKinney, TX, please call (214) 726-1450 or get in touch online today.