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fort worth divorce lawyerCouples who have worked long and hard to earn and maintain a significant net worth often face considerable challenges when they get divorced. Resolving the division of complex assets is usually the most challenging obstacle to overcome, but other problems are also common. High net worth couples frequently enjoy significant influence in their community, which can make privacy concerns paramount during a divorce. Alimony payments can be very difficult to negotiate in a high-net-worth divorce case. If you are a high-net-worth individual in Fort Worth and are considering divorce, here are five unique challenges to prepare yourself for. 

Sorting Assets into Marital and Non-Marital Property

Generally speaking, anything that either spouse acquires during the marriage is considered marital property. In fact, the presumption in a divorce is that all property owned by either spouse is marital property, and a spouse who wishes to claim certain property as individually belonging to him or her will need to provide convincing evidence of the property’s ownership. Spouses frequently contest property as being marital or non-marital, so be prepared to dig back into an asset’s history for proof. 

Valuing Complex Assets

Savings accounts and family vehicles may be easy to value, but complex assets like investment portfolios, business assets, art, and collectibles can be far more difficult to assess. Complex asset valuations often require specialists with industry-specific knowledge and, for assets with varying value (such as a stock portfolio), couples will need to agree on a specific valuation date so the value is not in flux throughout the divorce process. 

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Fort Worth Family Law Attorney Nathan Hatton Offers Advice to Wealthy Individuals Considering Divorce

Gather information about assets.

It isn’t always an easy task to gather information on assets, particularly in cases in which one spouse runs a business that the other does not play a large role in. However, it is prudent to take any steps that a spouse can easily take, such as making a copy of quarterly IRA statements. The more a spouse knows about marital assets, the quicker the process can move, and the lower the costs. 

Don’t make a run on the bank.

It is natural and normal to be anxious during a divorce, but spouses should not take extra money out of joint accounts. Nor should one spouse spend marital assets on any large purchases without getting an okay from the other. Don’t go on a spending spree.

Consider tax implications.

Division of assets may be taxable unless they are rolled into another qualified purchase within a specified time.  Likewise, withdraws from retirement savings accounts may occur without penalty but may be taxable. In high net worth divorces, in addition to working with a divorce attorney, spouses should expect to consult with their CPAs or other tax professionals. 

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Lawyers and divorcees blame social media for inciting an increase in divorces over the last decade and a half. Although social media networks alone aren’t the cause for divorce, they are the catalyst for problems that arise from consistent use: infidelity, greed, jealousy, and addiction. Unfortunately, these problems aren’t going anywhere. Social media users have more than tripled in number in the last decade.

Getting off social media is not a viable solution for most people. Still, if you’re going through a divorce, whether or not social media is the reason for it, you must understand the implications of your online presence.

What’s the Connection Between Social Media and Divorce?

Most people use their social media accounts to share memories and exciting moments in life. But many people also use it to vent about work and spouses. When going through the divorce process, you must be careful about what you post. More than likely, the opposing team of divorce attorneys is looking at your online presence to find anything that can swing the court in their favor–especially for child custody.

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Posted on in Divorce

In 2019, there were over 750,000 divorces in the United States alone. Divorce is a complicated process for many people. The emotional and mental toll it takes on family members can be heartwrenching. There are several aspects to work out when getting a divorce. These include considerations regarding children, property, assets, and debt. With so much to work out, it’s no wonder that many divorces end up contested. If you find yourself in difficult divorce proceedings, you must work with a lawyer to help protect you. The team at Hatton and Hatton is ready to help.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce occurs when spouses cannot reach an agreement on the best way to split property, assets, child custody, and visitation rights. This term does not necessarily mean that the spouses are angry with each other, nor does it mean the divorce will get ugly. There are many things you need to go over with your spouse when getting a divorce. With so much to figure out, it is understandable that you both won’t agree on every aspect. In this moment of contention, an attorney can help you navigate the court.

How Can Lawyers Help?

Experienced lawyers understand the emotional and mental stress you are under throughout the process. Our job is to do what is best for you. That’s why we prepare for the hearings and file the correct documents and divorce petition so the court and the other party know exactly what you are seeking.

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Texas is a community property state, which means that everything that comes in or is purchased during the marriage is presumed to be community property. For example, all equity that builds up in a house purchased during the marriage is community property, regardless of which spouse is making the payments.  Likewise, all retirement funds earned during the marriage are considered community property.

By the same token, the debts taken on by either husband or wife or both are also presumed to belong to both. There are rare cases where a debt incurred during the marriage would solely be the responsibility of the person who incurred the debt.  However, usually all community debt is factored into the final division of property.

Inheritances or gifts are considered separate property…so long as the person claiming it is an inheritance or gift can prove so.  Throughout my years handling divorce cases, I have worked with many clients who did not get legal advice when they received an inheritance and did not take steps to ensure that money they received as a gift or inheritance was kept separate.  Comingling of separate and community property funds will make it difficult to divide it out properly down the road.

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