High Asset Divorce Archives

Business owners can benefit from advanced divorce planning

For business owners in Texas, divorce may be a particularly costly proposition. Beyond the immediate financial effects, entrepreneurs may face specific problems with the division or ongoing viability of their companies after a marital split. Because the repercussions can be severe, many business owners may want to develop a plan to help prevent the most serious consequences from befalling their businesses in the event of divorce. Indeed, many investors or other business partners may insist on divorce planning as part of taking an equity stake.

Avoiding a messy high-asset divorce

Many Texas residents have likely heard about the impending divorce involving Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife of 25 years. The couple appears to be handling things right so far. They started off with a joint announcement that included a commitment to enjoy a "shared new life". While this is admirable, there are other steps high-asset couples may want to consider to avoid common missteps.

Division of 401(k)s in a divorce

According to a survey by the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers in 2016, retirement accounts were the second most common issue divorcing couples fought over, just behind alimony. People in Texas who are getting a divorce and who must divide a retirement account should make sure they understand the complexities involved. Failing to do so could mean paying a significant amount in taxes and penalties or one spouse getting more than a fair share of the account.

Divorce and financial assets

Couples in Texas who get a divorce should understand the tax ramifications of the dividing their financial assets and take care to follow the correct procedure when dividing certain types of assets. For example, for divorcing couples who want to split a workplace retirement plan, it will be necessary to obtain a qualified domestic relations order, a legal document that details how much of the employer-sponsored retirement benefits of one spouse will be given to the other spouse.

Divorce mediation can help to preserve privacy

Divorce is always a legal process that dissolves a marital relationship. However, some Texas couples may wish to avoid the expense and complications associated with extensive litigation. For these divorcing couples, divorce mediation can be an alternative to traditional litigation. It makes use of a third-party mediator, along with the lawyers of both spouses, to sort out key issues and arrive at a mutually acceptable and beneficial agreement. For divorces that involve child custody, mediation can often be court-ordered.

Divorce and pitfalls in dividing retirement accounts

Texas couples who are getting a divorce and who need to split a 401(k) or another type of pension plan will need a court order called a qualified domestic relations order. This document, which should be prepared by an attorney and must be approved by the plan administrator, is necessary for making a distribution from these types of accounts without having to pay taxes or penalties.

Divorcing couples need to do financial homework

The Boy Scouts' motto, 'be prepared," is a phrase that also could be applied to older Texas couples who are contemplating a divorce. The closer Baby Boomers get to retirement, the more likely many of them are to get divorced since the divorce rate for the over-50 crowd is on the increase.

Dividing art collections in a divorce

When some couples in Texas get a divorce, they might have artwork to divide. There have been several high-profile divorces in which artwork created conflict during property division. For example, in a divorce between a real estate developer and his wife, a trustee of the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, artwork by Picasso, Warhol and others were among those in dispute. One issue was the appraisal of the art's value, which differed by hundreds of millions of dollars. Another was figuring out who had paid for the art.