In Texas, a high net worth divorce typically refers to a divorce where the parties have millions of dollars of assets. These assets often include real and personal property, retirement accounts, investment accounts, hedge funds, oil and gas interests, businesses and other assorted interests.

Dividing Property in a Texas Divorce

One part of a divorce is dividing the marital estate. That means dividing all of the assets and debts of the parties. First, the character of the property must be determined. Separate property cannot be divided by the court in Texas. Community property will be divided during the process of a divorce by the parties, if they can reach an agreement, or by the court if the parties cannot agree. Along with establishing the character of the property, the value must be ascertained. This might involve a business valuation, an appraisal of real property, or tracing funds in certain accounts by a forensic accountant, depending on the type of property. The starting point for division of the marital estate is a 50/50 division. However, there is frequently a disproportionate division of the community estate, based on fault in the break-up of the marriage or other issues. Some of these issues can be alcohol or drug abuse, wasting of community assets and many others. Your attorney can help you identify the various issue in your matter which will influence the division of the marital estate. 

Community vs. Separate Property in Texas

Texas is a community property state. All property owned by the parties is presumed to be community property and is subject to division during the divorce. This presumption is rebuttable by clear and convincing evidence presented by a party that certain property is separate property in character and thus, not subject to divisions.

Separate property is property that was owned prior to marriage, property acquired by gift, devise, or descent at any time, or the recovery for a personal injury claim excluding the recovery for lost wages. Separate property can also be established through a premarital or postnuptial agreement. A party claiming that property is their separate property must prove the properties’ characterization by clear and convincing evidence. Separate property is not subject to division during a divorce and will remain with the party that proves it is their separate property.

High Asset Divorce Factors in Texas

There are many factors to consider in a high asset divorce in Texas. Some things that make high asset divorces more difficult, and lengthier than typical divorces include the complexity of the assets and property, the use of trusts and other entities to hold certain properties or interests in assets, off-shore assets, and various other issues, including non-standard child support or alimony. It is important to hire a lawyer who is a specialist in family law and has extensive experience handling high net worth divorces. Scroggins Law Group will coordinate and hire a team of experts to address all of the unique issues you face in your high net worth divorce. A lawyer who has an abundant amount of experience representing clients in high net worth divorces can help you achieve your goals and advise you on how to proceed to protect what you have worked so hard to obtain.

How Long Does a High Net Worth Divorce Take?

Each divorce is unique and there are several factors that contribute to how long a divorce takes. High net worth divorces are frequently more complex and more contentious than other divorces with less to divide. Establishing the ownership of certain assets that are tied up in various corporations or trust and then determining the value of these assets can be extremely time consuming. High asset divorces are document heavy and usually require a team of experts on each side to help determine the value of different assets through appraisals, tracing, or other methods specific to certain types of assets. The division of the assets in a high net worth divorce is often hotly contested by parties willing to litigate until the very end. Thus, high net worth divorces tend to take more time than your average divorce.

What is Considered an Asset During Divorce?

Assets in a divorce are anything that has real value. Real estate, retirement accounts, stocks, art, vehicles, collectables, jewelry, and businesses are all examples of assets. The real value of each asset must be determined in order to divide it during a divorce.

If You Have a High Net Worth and are Contemplating a Divorce, Contact Scroggins Law Group, a Texas Family Law Firm, Today:

The family law lawyers at Scroggins Law Group, PLLC are made up of several board-certified family law specialists. If you are contemplating divorce in Texas and have a high net worth, reach out to Scroggins Law Group, PLLC today to set up an initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.