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Finding and dividing complex assets in a Texas divorce

Going through a divorce and dividing community assets is rarely easy, but for Texas couples with multiple complex assets, it may be difficult to know what there is to divide in the first place. Venture capital funds, hedge funds and business ownership interests are only a few things that couples may have a hard time placing a monetary value on, especially when these assets are illiquid.

Judges may sometimes order an asset to be sold just to ensure that the proceeds of the sale can be equally divided. If divorcing parties are willing to agree to it, they may stipulate that one spouse will keep a complex asset in exchange for the payment of a sum of money to the party losing an ownership interest in the asset. One divorce specialist and director of financial planning warns that these arrangements may not come out to be equal for both parties if the asset greatly increases or decreases in value over time. The specialist can try to help people determine the amount of shares that they each own in a joint business so that the parties can continue to hold an interest in the company.

In a contested divorce, parties may not be willing to reach an agreement whereby one of them keeps an asset and the other maintains some control over the asset, which is what some couples in a complex divorce may choose to do with investments. Parties may even need to dig deep to determine whether another spouse is hiding assets.

Family law attorneys may be able to help parties reach an amicable agreement. In a less-than-amicable divorce, attorneys may develop arguments as to why certain pieces of property should or should not be considered community property.

Source: Financial Planning , "Finding Hidden Assets: Digging Deep in HNW Divorce", Andrew Pavia, March 24, 2014

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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