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Complex issues for individuals in a high-net-worth divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2022 | Blog, Divorce

Divorce between high-net-worth individuals is more complicated than an average divorce settlement. Residents of Texas may want to learn more about the issues that are involved in the process when high monetary values are part of the divorce.

According to The Dallas Morning News, the most important issues that arise are spousal support and the division of assets. Although these issues are part of most divorce cases, they may be more complicated when higher net worth is part of the picture.

Assets divided

The determination of whether an asset is community property or separate property is important. Was the property acquired during the marriage? Was it acquired before the marriage, such as through inheritance? Separate property must show proof because the presumption is that all is community property.

Community property receives fair division

This will depend on a number of factors. These include the following:

  • Fault in the breakup of the marriage, such as abuse, criminal activity, adultery, etc.
  • Custody of minor children
  • Respective rights of each spouse

Financial experts may receive consultation as well in a high-net-worth divorce. In some cases, a forensic accountant may trace funds, especially if funds have been hidden, moved or intermingled. There may be a mix of assets, making it more complex than a divorce between those without more assets than bank accounts.

Determination of support for the spouse

In many cases, one spouse has been dependent of the other during the marriage. Because of this, the dependent spouse can seek spousal support to meet their needs after the couple parts.

Texas does not have automatic spousal support. It has determination either by a court order or by an agreement. The term “alimony” has common usage, but court-ordered support in Texas has the legal term “spousal maintenance.”

Claim for spousal support must show eligibility. When there is proof of eligibility, the court may order either $5,000 per month or 20% of the paying spouse’s gross monthly income, whichever is less. Some factors that prove eligibility include the following:

  • Marriage that lasted 10 or more years
  • Family violence
  • Disability of the spouse
  • Spouse who cared for a disabled child of the marriage

Every high-net-worth divorce has complex issues, especially when the division of assets and spousal support must receive consideration. Individuals going through the process should expect it to take a long time if they are not prepared to negotiate.