What is Considered a High-Asset Divorce?
When going through a divorce with substantial assets at stake or involving a spouse who is considered a high-net-worth individual, you need an experienced attorney to protect your financial future.
Special financial issues are often in play with high-asset divorces, such as separate property tracing, property valuation, vesting and transferability restrictions, and undesirable tax consequences.
High-asset divorces are not specifically defined in Texas law. This is a term of art used to label divorces that often include one or more of the following characteristics:
Whether you are a high-net-worth individual or the spouse of one, you need a skilled Southlake high-asset divorce lawyer that you can feel confident in to protect your financial future.
If you are a high-net-worth individual your earnings often include more than a traditional salary and 401(k) plan. Your income may be supplemented with restriction stock options, bonus plans, equity shares, and nonqualified deferred compensation plans.
Your assets are also often diversified from standard financial accounts and retirement (e.g. checking and savings, 401(k) plans, and individual retirement accounts), and can include commercial real estate, intellectual property, business ownership and interests, long-term investment portfolios, and even collections such as high-value wine and artwork.
Valuing these forms of compensation and property adds to the complexities of high-asset divorces. It is not always as simple as reading an account balance on a statement, especially when it comes to business interests and income-producing properties. There may also be tax implications, such as capital gains tax, that should be assessed when determining the value of a property. Our divorce attorneys will work with you and financial professionals to ensure your assets are properly valued to reach an equitable division of property.
There may also be confidentiality concerns in play during a high-asset divorce. You or your spouse may be considered a high-profile individual (e.g. athlete, celebrity, politician, etc.) and desire not to have your divorce play out in a courtroom open to public viewing. You may have ownership in a business entity that needs to keep its trade secrets and operations confidential. Or you may simply have extensive assets and desire not to make this information public and part of court record.
Certain considerations should be taken when confidentiality is a concern during a high-asset divorce. These include discovery control plans, confidentiality orders that prohibit the disclosure of certain information, sealing court records, and alternatives to litigation that allow for resolving your disputes behind closed doors and away from public viewing.
If you are not the primary earner in your relationship, or if you are a spouse who does not work at all, you may not understand how your spouse is compensated or how they have invested your earnings. Our divorce attorneys will work with you to ensure you understand your financial circumstances.
As the “non-monied” spouse your partner may have sole control over your family’s finances and not even provide you with access to accounts. This can contribute to concerns that your spouse may be hiding money, and during a divorce can cause distrust that your spouse is fully divulging information regarding your estate. Addressing this issue is something our divorce lawyers have extensive experience handling. We will develop a game plan with you for your case to conduct discovery and ensure all property is accounted for and no stone is left unturned when it comes to dividing your estate. If necessary, we can enlist the services of a forensic accountant to assist with tracing and finding assets your spouse may want to keep hidden during your divorce.
Children of high-net-worth individuals often are accustomed to a different lifestyle than other kids. This can include attending an expensive private school, participating in costly extracurricular activities, and going on extravagant vacations.
If only one spouse is a high-net-worth individual and the children live primarily with the other spouse, then child support guidelines may not be sufficient to cover the expenses associated with this lifestyle after divorce. This can open up the potential for the custodial parent seeking child support that exceeds the statutory maximums.
Whether you are the spouse of a high-net-worth individual and would like your children to continue with the lifestyle they are accustomed to (e.g. remaining in the same private school or continuing with extracurricular activities they enjoy), of you are a high-net-worth individual who wants to avoid paying more than what is appropriate, it is important to meet with an experienced Southlake high asset divorce lawyer who understands your circumstances and will be prepared to effectively present arguments to support your position.
If you want to end your marriage and you are looking for a high-net-worth divorce lawyer near you, you should contact Mims Ballew Hollingsworth | Family Law. Our group of skilled attorneys in Southlake Texas is backed by years of experience and will get the best possible outcome. Contact us today and schedule a consultation.
A contested divorce or family law case does not require costly litigation in a public courtroom. You can resolve contested issues through alternative dispute resolution, such as collaborative law, mediation, or arbitration.
These alternatives are often more cost-efficient when compared to going to court, and can result in a faster resolution to your case (in large counties it is not uncommon to wait over a year before having a final trial due to the court’s docket).
Alternative dispute resolution methods, including mediation, are also confidential and do not take place in a courtroom that is open to public viewing. This can be beneficial for divorces and family law cases involving high-profile individuals (e.g. athletes, celebrities, politicians, etc.) or topics of a sensitive nature (i.e. business trade secrets or high-asset divorces).
Collaborative law is a confidential method of resolving a divorce or child custody case where parties work together through joint sessions with the help of specially trained professionals to assist with resolving financial and parenting issues. The focus is on finding mutually beneficial solutions and sharing information that would normally be kept confidential during litigation. Collaborative law is unique and may not be right for everyone, but for some, it is an effective method to lessen conflict.
Just because your divorce or child custody case is contested does not mean it needs to become high conflict and involve costly public court hearings. The family law attorneys at Mims Ballew Hollingsworth | Family Law can talk you through these options and develop a plan for resolving your case through alternative dispute resolution.
When parents can agree on who their children will live with, how to share in rights and decision-making, and a parenting time schedule, the Court will often approve this agreement. If parents cannot agree, then the Judge will make custody decisions based on what they believe is in the best interest of the children.
The following factors are frequently considered by Courts in determining a child’s best interest: parenting abilities, plans for the child, home stability, your child’s desires, your child’s emotional and physical needs, and whether there is a concern of emotional and physical danger to your child.
Custody orders in Texas are referred to as a parenting plan. The parenting plan addresses issues such as who your child will live with, what rights each parent has, where your child will go to school, and how the parents will share possession. The parenting plan can be very detailed and address concerns or issues unique to your child. If a parent has problems with drugs or alcohol, this can be addressed in your parenting plan to assure the safety of your child. If your child has special needs, these can be addressed in your parenting plan to assure that your child is properly provided for.
If you are involved in a child custody case, you need an attorney who will fight to protect you and your child’s future. The child custody lawyers at Mims Ballew Hollingsworth | Family Law have more than 75 years of experience helping families navigate through the family law system, and we will work with you to develop a customized game plan for your case and for reaching your goals to protect your child.