Protecting Yourself During a High Net Worth Divorce in Texas

Ending a marriage is a life-altering experience that can be particularly complex and daunting for individuals with substantial assets. At Deyerle Silva Smith, PLLC, we understand that a high net worth divorce in Texas comes with its unique challenges, including the division of multiple properties, alimony, child support, and custody issues. Our experienced Austin attorneys are dedicated to providing tailored advice and robust strategies to protect your interests and livelihood. Learn how to protect yourself while navigating the critical aspects of a high net worth divorce in Texas, ensuring you are well-equipped to make informed decisions during this pivotal time.

Before Getting Married Understand One Another’s Assets

Talking about money and finances with your fiance before getting married can be stressful but very important for the health of your marriage and protection should the parties separate in the future. Unfortunately, approximately 22% of divorcing couples experience money issues or arguments as the main reason to end a marriage. In a high net worth marriage, this topic can become complicated quickly. Having a clear understanding of what assets either party is bringing to the marriage helps everyone know where they stand financially in the relationship. This allows a couple to have a genuine conversation about a premarital agreement, or a postnuptial agreement if these financial conversations happen once you’re already married. 

 

A couple’s financial situation may change and shift throughout a marriage, which is why a premarital agreement is excellent for determining what happens with the assets each party brings into the union. As new assets and forms of income emerge throughout the marriage, it’s important to understand the differences between community property and separate property in Texas. Additionally, any property explicitly agreed to be separate in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement would also be treated as separate property. 

Multiple Properties in High Net Worth Divorce in Texas

One of the top complexities faced in a high net worth divorce in Texas is the division of multiple properties. Texas is a community property state, meaning that any property acquired during the marriage is considered jointly owned and must be divided equitably. It is important to determine the current value of all real estate assets, which may include primary residences, vacation homes, investment properties, and more. Strategies such as property appraisals, hiring real estate experts, and exploring buy-out options can be pivotal in ensuring a fair division that aligns with your best interests. Remember that to buy out your partner’s interest in a property, liquid cash might be necessary. 

Spousal Maintenance Caps In Texas Divorce

In Texas, spousal support, also known as spousal maintenance, is not a guarantee but may be awarded in cases involving significant disparities in earning capacities. Factors such as the duration of the marriage, the earning capacities of the parties, and each spouse’s financial resources are considered. The spousal maintenance standard for Texas is to meet minimum reasonable needs; however, that can be limited by the other party’s ability to pay. 

 

Determining spousal maintenance In a high net worth divorce in Texas is not typically limited by a spouse’s ability to pay; however, it is limited to a maximum payment and whether the receiving party has sufficient resources to meet his or her minimum reasonable needs. The final spousal maintenance payment cannot exceed 20% of the paying spouse’s gross monthly income or $5,000 per month, whichever amount is lower. Individuals accustomed to living well beyond the monthly cap will need to adjust accordingly for their post-split life.  Further, if a spouse is awarded enough property to meet his or her minimum reasonable needs, he or she will not qualify for any final spousal maintenance.

Child Support and Custody

Child support and custody arrangements can become particularly contentious in a high net worth divorce. Texas law prioritizes the best interests of the child, with support payments calculated based on the non-custodial parent’s income and the needs of the child. Often, above guideline child support is requested in high net worth divorces.  

Custody arrangements should also be approached with the child’s well-being in mind, focusing on creating a stable and supportive environment for them. Deyerle Silva Smith advocates for amicable solutions that honor the parent-child relationship while protecting both your parental rights and financial interests.

Postnuptial Agreements

Postnuptial agreements can play a critical role in a high net worth divorce in Texas, especially when there is no premarital agreement. These agreements, made after marriage, outline the division of assets and liabilities in the event of a divorce but before it happens. A well-drafted postnuptial agreement can streamline the whole process, minimizing disputes over asset division. It is vital to ensure that these agreements are legally sound and reflective of both parties’ intentions and rights under Texas law. Working with an experienced attorney on your postnuptial agreement can be the most effective way to protect yourself during a high net worth divorce, especially if the financial situation has significantly changed throughout the course of the marriage. 

Protecting Your Livelihood And Reputation During Divorce

For individuals in a high net worth divorce in Texas, this can threaten not just personal wealth but also the future of businesses and professional practices. Protecting your livelihood involves strategic planning and negotiation to ensure that business assets are evaluated fairly and that any division or settlement does not jeopardize the ongoing viability of your business. Techniques such as asset valuation, forensic accounting, and creative settlement structures can be invaluable in preserving your professional and financial interests. 

Preserving reputations holds significant importance as well in your high net worth divorce in Texas. Although measures are taken to minimize public disclosure in divorce proceedings, opting for alternative dispute resolution methods can provide advantages in maintaining privacy and protecting your personal reputation. Skilled mediators can facilitate constructive dialogue within families, enabling them to resolve specific issues through mediation while reserving more critical matters for court litigation.

Working With Experienced High Net Worth Divorce Attorneys

At Deyerle Silva Smith, PLLC, we are committed to guiding our clients through the complexities of high net worth divorce in Texas with compassion, integrity, and expertise. Our approach is centered on understanding your unique situation, providing personalized legal strategies, and advocating fiercely on your behalf. Whether you are concerned about property division, spousal maintenance, child support, and custody, or protecting your livelihood and reputation, our team is here to ensure your rights and assets are protected. Contact us today to begin navigating your high net worth divorce in Texas with confidence and clarity.