Complex Property Division Lawyer in Houston
Lawyer Up With Experienced Asset Division Divorce Lawyers in Texas
Will your divorce involve large marital estates, business interests, stock options or trusts? If you are facing divorce and significant assets are involved, getting knowledgeable legal counsel is crucial. Founded in 1987 in Houston, Texas, our law firm, Hendershot, Cannon & Hisey, P.C., has extensive experience in complex divorce cases involving unique assets and large marital estates with the resources and professional connections to achieve a proper valuation of a business and equitable distribution of unique assets.We are experienced in these and other complex property division issues:
- Large estates
- Family business
- Business operations
- Professional practices and partnerships
- Stocks and bonds
- Retirement accounts and pensions
- Farms, ranches and livestock
- Oil, gas and other mineral interest
- Investment property, second homes, vacation homes
- Separate property inheritances
- Overseas investments and assets
- Royalties and dividends
To get started on your divorce case, call (713) 909-7323 to schedule a confidential consultation with a Houston complex property attorney or fill out our online form 24/7.
Our Approach to Complex Property Division in Divorce
We will listen closely to your goals as our client and align our strategy and tactics accordingly. We are not only adept at identifying the full range of assets that are subject to division - we are also highly skilled at valuing and protecting that value.
Are you afraid your spouse is hiding or concealing assets? Our Houston law firm can work with clients who need assistance in searching for assets that may be hidden by a spouse during a divorce. We know:
- What to look for
- Where to go to find it (Tracing and confirming assets)
- How to evaluate the assets
- How to present the appropriate evidence to the judge or jury
- When to call in expert witnesses
Protecting Your Separate Property Assets
The presumption in Texas is to characterize property as community property-and to prove otherwise must be established by clear and convincing evidence. Generally, community property is subject to division, but not separate property.
Property is separate if:
- The spouse acquired it before marriage
- Inherited it or received it as a gift
- Received it under special circumstances
Tracing is the most common way of establishing separate property. We know what documents to look for and how to properly present the information contained in these documents to the judge and jury so information is easily understandable, even in the most complex of cases, such as those cases involving co-mingled property.
Issues that arise regarding separate property and community property can include:
- Property Protected by Marital Agreement - Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements can be used to keep certain assets out of the marital estate. We can negotiate a prenup or postnup for you. If you already have one but have concerns, we can help you determine its validity.
- Gifts & Inheritances - Property a spouse brought into a marriage or gained through gift or inheritance is not generally considered community property. We can help determine where the line is drawn.
- Commingled Asset - Sometimes a spouse mixes separate property together with community property. We have the tools to detect such commingling and trace the funds involved.
- Hidden Asset - If a spouse has concealed assets or engaged in marital fraud, it raises the ante immeasurably in property division cases. As experienced divorce lawyers, we know how to use forensic accounting and other methods to bring these hidden assets to light.
- Valuation of Assets - Valuation of retirement accounts, stock options, interests in a family business, and many other types of assets often requires a high level of financial expertise. These other assets can include oil and gas interests and real estate holdings, as well as the ownership of professional practices and small businesses with existing contracts and revenue streams. Access to our firm's business law section makes the necessary financial know-how easily available and beneficial to clients.
Retirement Accounts: Dealing with the Details
Pensions, 401(k)s and other retirement accounts, stock options, bonuses, and employment incentives can pose some of the most difficult issues in dividing marital property. Even when the parties agree and are in a fairly amicable divorce, dividing retirement assets often involves complicated calculations and procedures.
For example, rules and procedures often vary depending on which pension system is involved. Federal pensions are wildly different from other forms of pension. The same is true of public retirement systems at the state and local level. We have the broad-based knowledge to navigate these systems. We have the resources and access to actuaries and other appropriate advisers to protect or obtain your share of a given account.
QDROs: The Tool for Dividing Pensions
A specific procedure often used in dividing retirement accounts is called a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). In the context of marital property division, it is an order by a local court to the administrator of a retirement plan to distribute a specified portion of that account to a spouse.
We have handled many QDROs. We know exactly how to protect your property interests when such orders are required. Our knowledge extends to the nuances of numerous pension systems, including the military pension system and many others.