Executive Divorce Lawyer in Houston Texas

Divorces are never easy. The issues can be extremely complex when there is a large estate or when the parties are executives with significant assets, stock option, bonuses, and property in several states. These assets must be properly divided – an often complex and contentious process. Issues of support after the marriage do come up. It is very important in any high-asset divorce to hire a professional team to ensure you receive a fair and equitable share of all property in question.

Determining when property was acquired is important and can be complicated. Texas is a community property state, meaning that any asset acquired during the marriage is presumed to be community property. If there is a dispute over the character of property, meaning determining whether a piece of property is community or separate, then its character needs to be determined and then valued. This process is extremely complicated and will oftentimes require an expert.

If you or your spouse are executives in a company, chances are there will be a large retirement account which must be divided. Pensions, 401(k) plans, and savings plans must be appropriately valued. Often, pension plans require an actuarial investment to confirm the amount a party can expect to receive upon retirement. Assets that are in trust accounts or located offshore must also be located and valued. Stock options and deferred compensation are oftentimes contested issues. Proving the value and whether or not each has vested is something a smart team of experienced professionals can help you with.

An executive divorce can be complex under the best of circumstances. But it can be overwhelming when one of the spouses engages in bad conduct. Typically, this involves wasting or hiding assets. Wasting assets might involve selling off stocks or other property right before the divorce process commences. Hiding debts or assets may mean something as simple as not disclosing its existence. Sometimes a spouse may transfer significant property into someone else’s name. If you suspect such behavior, having a smart attorney and a forensic accountant can uncover the assets and demonstrate to the court that the spouse is behaving badly. This will be compelling evidence to a judge to intervene and try to prevent further bad acts.

If one spouse has sacrificed their own career or delayed their education to help bolster the other spouse’s career or to focus on the family, these issues must be brought to the court’s attention. Spousal support might become a major issue in finalizing a divorce. Texas has two kinds of spousal support: court-ordered maintenance and contractual alimony.  Each one has different requirements and different functions.

Court-ordered maintenance is based on a spouse’s needs and has to be proven to the court. The court must consider several factors before awarding this kind of support and there are significant limitations to any award of court-ordered maintenance. That is why it is common in executive divorces for contractual alimony to be included. This alimony is something the parties have agreed to (often as part of a final settlement for divorce). There are fewer restrictions on it and there is no burden of proof on the spouse receiving the money. It can be a useful tool to resolve any divorce more efficiently. Some parties are willing to pay a certain monthly amount to their spouse for a period of time than part with items of property with a significant value attached.

Executive divorces require a strong, experienced team to provide guidance. Consider the money spent on these professionals as an investment into preserving the value and size of your estate. They can help you be reasonable and manage your expectations in what is often stressful and emotional time in your life.

We Can Help You With Legal Representation

Navigating the divorce process can be intimidating, but hiring a lawyer to help you through it can be immensely worthwhile. They will ensure your paperwork is appropriate and ensure the rules of procedure are followed. It is also worth the investment for your peace of mind, knowing that you have someone in your corner who can advocate for your best interests.