Experienced Texas Attorney Protects Your Rights in a High Net-Worth Divorce
Diligence and attention to detail in managing affluent estates
When affluent couples dissolve their marriage, there is more than a chance that the court’s attempt at “just and right division” will fall short of that goal. One party may fail to disclose all marital assets, the court may mislabel certain assets as separate when they should be counted in the estate (or vice versa), or the court may misapply factors when dividing the property to the advantage of one and the detriment of the other. It’s an old axiom that “the more you have, the more you have to lose,” and, without an experienced attorney safeguarding your interests, the likelihood that you will lose increases. The Law Office of Jerry Porter has the experience with high net-worth divorces that you need to protect your property rights. My career is invested in helping affluent clients in The Woodlands, Montgomery County and the greater Houston area defend their financial interests, so they can retain a solid foundation for their life after divorce.
Issues specific to high net-worth divorces in The Woodlands
Affluent couples have large and complex marital estates that often contain sophisticated financial instruments and unique holdings, such as real estate, works of art and purebred animals. I have successfully managed the just and right distribution process for high net-worth couples, with particular care to difficult issues, such as:
- Asset protection — Pre-divorce planning can help you establish that certain holdings are separate property and should not be divided with the marital estate.
- Business and professional practice evaluations — Many factors go into determining the value of an ongoing enterprise. While items like revenue are easy to tabulate, intangibles like “good will” are difficult to pinpoint.
- Contractual alimony — This payment system can cause an imbalance, since the payor can claim a tax deduction on amounts paid, whereas the recipient must report it as income.
- Discovering hidden assets — Spouses often attempt to hide assets from each other. I use the discovery process to investigate financial disclosures thoroughly to compel full compliance with court rules.
- Real estate — Some parcels of real property, especially those leased for oil and gas production, are income generating. Holdings such as the family home or a vacation home have importance beyond their market value. The decision to liquidate real estate to distribute funds requires much investigation and deliberation.
- Reconstituted estates — In the event of fraud perpetrated by or upon one of the spouses, the court may decide to value the marital estate based upon its value prior to the losses the fraud caused. The questions of whether fraud occurred and whether a spouse is culpable must be thoroughly adjudicated.
- Retirement asset division — A spouse’s retirement assets earned during the marriage are considered marital property and must be divided appropriately using a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO).
- Stock options and restricted stock grants — A divorce may occur before stock options have vested or before a spouse has exercised the option. At that point, the value is highly speculative. Parties hoping to realize the greatest value may find that an immediate exercise of the option devalues the asset. However, holding onto the option creates difficulties, because the right depends on continued employment. If an executive leaves his or her current position, the options become worthless. The question then becomes whether the ex-spouse has a claim to a share of the compensation with the new company.
I have experience wrestling with the complexities of marital estates for affluent couples, including executives in the oil and gas industry. You can rely on my determination to outwork the opposition as I strive to deliver your best possible outcome.
Contact a Texas divorce attorney with experience in high net-worth divorce
The larger your marital estate, the more you stand to lose unless your just and right distribution is done right. I have the knowledge and experience to master the complexities of large estates. If you’re in The Woodlands or the greater Houston area, call 346.333.1835 or contact the Law Office of Jerry Porter online to schedule a consultation.