Complex Divorce often involves high value assets and assets in dispute.
The following are a few examples:
- Real Estate, both in-state and out-of-state, and jointly or family-owned businesses are assets that must be valued and distributed as part of a divorce.
- Valuing a Business is often a matter where experts may need to be hired.
- Accounts such as, Retirement accounts, 401(k) accounts, savings plans and pensions), bank accounts (checking accounts, savings accounts), deferred compensation and executive bonuses.
- Assets Held in Trust, Investments, Stocks and Bonds, and Royalties are other assets for which complicated issues may arise. For example, tax issues can arise when it comes to valuing and distributing high-value assets, pre- or post-tax accounts, investments and off-shore accounts. Working with an attorney experienced in these matters is crucial.
Texas is a community property state, so the characterization of property as either community or separate is crucial. Each spouse has an interest in community assets. Each spouse may keep their own separate property. Therefore, it is critical to properly characterize assets as separate, community, or comingled. Properly characterizing assets is necessary to ensure an equitable division of property.
Complex issues are not limited to purely financial matters. In some cases, child custody and visitation is hotly contested and genuine issues of what is in the best interests of the children arise. Mental health professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers may be needed to resolve such complex disputes.
Bad behavior by one spouse can also cause complexity. Frequently, we must seek Court Orders and Injunctions from the Judge to attempt to curb a spouse’s bad behavior and protect the other spouse. Bad behavior can include, among other actions, family violence, wasting of assets, hiding assets and concealing debts. Protective Orders, investigation, perhaps with the help of an outside investigator or forensic accountant, may be necessary to ensure a spouse’s misbehavior is stopped and uncovered.
No one should ‘go it alone’ in a Divorce, especially in a Complex Divorce.
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