The Texas Family Law statutes do not differentiate according to the wealth of the parties, their position and titles or any other factors. However, when wealthy individuals face divorce, the financial stakes are considerably higher than average cases. Substantial assets, complex financial arrangements, investments and possibly one or more businesses require experienced legal, financial, and real estate expertise to ensure an equitable outcome for the parties.
Several factors make High-Net Worth divorces uniquely challenging for all parties:
ASSET IDENTIFICATION - Tracing all assets can be difficult when dealing with extensive holdings accumulated over many years. Separate property owned before marriage may still be impacted by divorce due to appreciation during the marriage being deemed marital property.
COMPLEX ASSETS - Unlike typical cases, high value divorce involves assets like real estate, business interests, trusts, endowments, investments, and retirement accounts. The intricacies of dividing these assets often make proceedings more contentious. Further, the assets may be in different locations, even international, making the identification and assessment more challenging. Asset and business valuation are high priorities in a High-Net Worth divorce.
TAX IMPLICATIONS - Dividing assets and arranging spousal support can create tax liabilities. An experienced team well-versed in the law and tax consequences of transactions can provide critical advice and guidance on structuring a settlement to minimize taxes.
SPOUSAL SUPPORT - With substantial means and lifestyles involved, determining reasonable needs for a dependent spouse is crucial. Negotiating fair temporary and longer term ‘Spousal Maintenance’ support requires a nuanced understanding of the complete financial picture. Children will add to the challenge with not only the financial aspect of ‘Child Support’ but coordinating visitation schedules.
FORENSIC INVESTIGATION - A high income spouse may try to obscure assets in advance of divorce. Skilled forensic accountants can uncover hidden or deferred income and assets.
PUBLIC SCRUTINY - Celebrity and high-profile divorces frequently tend to attract media attention. An experienced lawyer can advise on strategies to maintain privacy.
LENGTHY PROCEEDINGS - Identifying and valuing all assets is time consuming. Determining what is marital versus pre-marital property can be challenging and lead to prolonged disputes. Temporary support orders may be needed while litigation drags on.
In summary, a competent and experienced team of legal counsel, financial experts including CPA's, forensic accountants and real estate experts is indispensable when dissolving considerable shared and intermingled assets. A team well-versed in complex property division, valuations, and the unique needs of High-Net-Worth clients can steer proceedings toward an equitable conclusion while protecting privacy.
If you are thinking of, or in the middle of a divorce, we want you to know you're not alone and we’re here to help. If you would like to discuss how we can assist you with your future plans, please give me a call at 469-556-1185.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this website and our blogs is not intended for legal, financial or mental health advice but is for general informational purposes only. While we endeavor to provide the latest information on a particular subject, future changes to the source Information is beyond our control.