Texas Divorce and Complex Property Division

If you are facing a Texas divorce, one of the most critical components you will need to address – after child custody arrangements – is what the court terms the just and right division of your marital property. The fact is that this division of property will likely affect you and your children’s financial futures for many years to come, and it is, therefore, critical that your marital assets be divided justly. While some divorcing couples have marital property that is fairly straightforward and, thus, relatively easy to divide, others have far more complex marital properties that add an extra layer of complication to the process. If your divorce involves complex properties, consult an experienced Houston divorce attorney today.

What Constitutes Complex Property Division

Complex property typically refers to properties and other assets that are difficult to put a dollar value on for various reasons. Such properties include family business, interest in a closely held business, professional licensure and professional practice, real estate, family heirlooms, and more. For instance, if you and your spouse own a business together and you both derive your incomes from that business, there is usually more involved than just the value of the business (which is likely to be complicated enough on its own).

Additionally, complex properties provide much more wiggle room for fiddling with numbers and even for hiding assets in plain sight. Complex properties typically require more serious investigative tools and comprehensive negotiations than typical marital property divisions.

Complex Property Division and Divorce Court

If your divorce involves complex properties, you may have resigned to battling things out in court, but this isn’t necessarily true. When you take your case to court, the judge is charged with determining the just and right division of your marital properties, but he or she has considerable discretion. This means that the judge in your case will be making important decisions regarding your financial future. Most couples find it easier to negotiate with one another once they realize that the alternative is for the judge to make their financial decisions for them.

When it comes to complex properties, they are just that – complex – which makes them difficult to value (often, this is true even when you obtain a professional forensic valuation). You and your spouse probably feel better about what a specific property is worth to each of you than anyone else could. This is why negotiating with each other – rather than through the court – might be in your best interests. However, it’s important to recognize that some property divisions are so cumbersome and/or so contentious that going to court is nearly inevitable.

High-Asset Divorce

When divorcing couples have significant assets, it is far more likely that they will also have complex properties involved. The nature of amassing wealth is that the origins of that wealth tend to become more entangled and opaque with time. This makes determining a property’s value that much more difficult.

If one spouse is more closely involved in the day-to-day handling of a couple’s wealth, it can allow him or her more sway over how things are valued. If you are going through a high-asset divorce, you must become acquainted with the financial details as quickly as possible. Working closely with an experienced Houston divorce lawyer will help ensure your rights are protected.

Divorces Involving Average Means

Even couples with average means can own complex properties, making dividing their marital property more difficult. For example, if a couple owns and runs a small business together, that business is likely to be their most significant asset, but it also may be their sole income. In this situation, this individual, marital property is likely to play an outsized role in the divorce process, and it cannot be easy to put a precise value on such a property. This is especially true if both spouses are invested in continuing to run the business.

Unscrupulous Behavior

Even a relatively mild divorce is stressful, and the stress of a contentious divorce can drive otherwise reasonable spouses to do extremely unreasonable—and unexpected—things. In other words, just because you can’t imagine your spouse hiding assets doesn’t mean it won’t happen, and it’s important to be on the lookout for such behavior.

When complex properties are involved, there are far more opportunities to blur financial lines and hide assets. The inherent complexities of such properties make them easier to manipulate. If your spouse is more involved in your complex properties, it is in your best interest to bring in a divorce attorney with considerable relevant experience early on in the process.

Complex Property and Complicating Factors

Divorce is complicated, but things can always become more complicated. As such, complex properties can become even more nebulous when entangled with one spouse’s separate property. If, for instance, your spouse came into the marriage with a business that was his or hers alone but intermingled with your marital assets in the ensuing years, it can make that complex property much more ambiguous. When a property has been in one spouse’s family for generations but has also segued into marital property territory, it complicates the issue further.

If Your Divorce Involves Complex Property Division, Consult with an Experienced Houston Divorce Attorney, Today

Other than your child custody arrangements, your marital property’s just and right division is the most significant component of your divorce. If your divorce involves complex properties, the issue is even more critical. The dedicated divorce attorneys at the Rudisel Law Firm, P.C. in Houston have the experience and knowledge to protect your rights skillfully and to aggressively advocate for the just division of marital property to which you are entitled. Our experienced legal team is here to help, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 713-781-7775 for a free consultation today.