Division Of Property In Large Marital Estates In Texas
If you have significant financial assets at stake in your divorce, you should hire the best lawyer you can find. The experience and creativity of your attorney can make the difference between a property settlement you can live with, and one that harms your financial future.
At The Haston Law Firm, P.C. in Houston, Texas, we pride ourselves on innovative legal thinking, proven trial skills and the ability to handle even the most complex marital property division matters. We represent business owners, high net-worth individuals and professionals in North Houston and other nearby communities.
Attorney Craig Haston is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. In divorce cases involving significant assets, we use a team of experienced professionals, including forensic accountants, business and real estate evaluators and CPAs to provide assistance in marital property division issues.
Complex Marital Property Division Issues
Some of the issues most common in complex division of marital property include:
- Characterization of assets as separate property versus community property
- Enforcing or contesting the validity of pre- or post-marital agreements: Although most people are told that you can “do anything you want” with such an agreement, that is not entirely true. In fact, the Texas Family Code and the Constitution of the State of Texas pose some thorny pitfalls for those who are not careful in drafting such agreements. Therefore, in a divorce suit, it is always important to thoroughly review a pre- or post-marital agreement to determine if it adequately complies with the law. A knowledgeable and skilled lawyer is important when dealing with issues such as these and Craig Haston has significant experience in drafting and litigating pre- and post-marital agreements.
- Tracing: Has separate property been commingled with marital property, and is it possible to trace current property to its original source? If so, it may be necessary to “trace” these valuable separate assets in order to avoid having them awarded to your spouse.
- Home and real estate valuation: Values vary widely for assets such as these. You will need an experienced attorney to help you best decide how to accurately value them.
- Business valuation: If a spouse owns a business alone or with a partner or two, it is vitally important to be able to place an accurate value on the business. A mistake in determining the value of a business could drastically alter the financial outcome of the property division. Many factors go into the process of evaluating a business and choosing the right professional evaluator for this process and being able to understand the concepts related to the evaluation are invaluable skills that we strive to implement on behalf of our clients.
- Division of retirement accounts such as 401(k) accounts and pension plans
- Division of executive compensation, performance units, phantom stock and other forms of deferred compensation for highly-compensated employees.
- Fraud and nondisclosure of assets
- Use of contractual spousal support and statutory alimony in a property settlement agreement: In Texas, we have a limited form of post-divorce alimony, called “spousal maintenance” which is awarded based on a variety of factors. Additionally, parties may agree, as a means of dividing their estates to provide contractual alimony to a spouse post-divorce. We have extensive experience working with both types of alimony and understand the intricacies of wording orders and agreements to ensure that a client’s desires are met.
- Division of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other significant assets: Often, the division of complex assets such as these depend greatly on the understanding of the tax effects of dividing these assets. When necessary, we work with a number of highly qualified tax specialists in making sure these tax consequences are adequately considered in the division of your estate.
- Privacy of information: In a divorce, as more and more of our legal documentation is becoming available on the Internet, a vast amount of your personal information is subject to being viewed by anyone with an internet connection. We are sensitive to this problem and make every effort to avoid having your personal information so readily available.