Houston High Asset Divorce Lawyer
A high asset divorce is one where one or both spouses have a high net worth or have assets such as investment portfolios, business interests, and other economic interests that make asset division more challenging. These divorces can often lead to expensive settlements for either party, and both sides are often represented by counsel to help them hold on to important assets or to help them gain their fair share of assets from a spouse who refuses to give a fair share.
For help with your high asset divorce case in Houston, call The Queenan Law Firm. Our Houston high asset divorce lawyers offer free, confidential legal consultations to help prospective clients understand how we can help with all aspects of your divorce case and fight to maintain important assets. To set up your free case consultation, call us today at (817) 476-1797.
Handling Divorce Cases with High Assets in Houston, TX
If you are getting divorced with significant business interests, investments, or other assets in play, then you should have the protection of an experienced Houston high asset divorce lawyer. These kinds of divorces are often quite contentious, with one or both spouses fighting not for an even split, but for them to take the lion’s share of the assets. In many cases, a lawyer can help protect your property rights and fight to let you keep what you are owed.
In a Texas divorce case, the court considers any property gained during the marriage to be “community property.” This property is not divided 50/50 upon divorce in many cases, but Texas Family Law § 7.001 instead says it should be divided in a way that is “just and right.” This means looking at each party’s rights as well as determining how the property split will affect children of the marriage, according to § 7.001.
In some cases, 50/50 is a fair split, but that is usually true when both spouses contributed about equally to the marital estate. Courts also consider either spouse’s work as a homemaker or parent alongside money-earning work. If the courts see that one person’s contributions to the family were higher than the other’s, they might decide to give that person more of the property. Courts might also give most of the shared assets to one spouse if they were the one who brought the assets to the marriage in the first place.
Claiming Separate Property in Houston Divorce Cases
While community property encompasses any property or money gained during the marriage, any property held before the marriage is “separate property.” Spouses each bring things to the marriage, but these assets remain theirs and are not legally shared with their spouse unless they actively share them. For instance, adding your spouse’s name to the title of a house or a car clearly makes that a shared asset, but a separate bank account with your own money in it would not be shared.
When you get divorced, you should be able to keep all separate property. For some couples, the separate property can be quite high for one or both spouses, and the other spouse should not have access to that property. However, if the assets were shared unintentionally, they could become community property. Income from separate property, such as stock dividends or rental property income, is also community property.
Protecting separate property is incredibly important, especially for business owners and investors. If your spouse tries to claim that those assets are community property or tries to claim income from those assets during a divorce, you could miss out on a lot of assets. It is important to work with a lawyer to help protect those assets, and you can often start that process even before getting married.
Prenuptial Agreements and High Asset Divorces in Houston
Many couples with high net worth or assets they need to protect will enter into prenuptial agreements with their spouse. These agreements work to protect separate property by firmly establishing what is and what is not separate property. These agreements also typically dictate from the beginning what property will be divided upon divorce. For many people with businesses, these agreements can be essential to ensuring that the company continues to run as it should without a change in ownership or management if your spouse tries to claim half the business in a divorce. These can also be essential to preserving trust funds, stock portfolios, and other assets and investments during a divorce.
Many people seeking a divorce find out that their prenuptial agreement was wholly unfair to them. In some cases, spouses might find out that their spouse intentionally hid assets from them or failed to disclose certain funds and accounts that they kept out of the prenuptial agreement. Courts usually strike down prenuptial agreements for fraud, coercion, and other problematic issues. However, if both sides were represented by counsel when they signed the prenup and the prenup does not hide assets, it is quite difficult to have a prenuptial agreement thrown out by the court.
Prenuptial agreements can also be modified or canceled by the parties with postnuptial agreements signed after the marriage. If you want to re-assess your prenup or get rid of the agreement, talk to a Houston family lawyer about how to renegotiate a prenup and seek a new asset division agreement during your divorce case.
Call Our High Asset Divorce Lawyer in Houston, TX for a Free Case Consultation
If you are getting divorced, it is vital to have a Houston family lawyer on your side. In many divorce cases, the economic differences between spouses mean that one side has a lot to protect and the other has a lot to lose. Prenuptial agreements and divorce laws can have a huge effect on high asset divorces, and both sides should have lawyers protecting their interests. For a free case consultation with our Houston high asset divorce lawyers, call The Queenan Law Firm today at (817) 476-1797.