Complex Property Division in Texas
Lawyer Up With Experienced Divorce Lawyers in Houston
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 Martin & Hisey, P.C., has extensive
experience in complex divorce cases involving large marital estates with
the resources and professional connections to achieve a
proper valuation of a business and
equitable distribution of unique assets.
With 200+ years of collective legal experience in
family law and
business law, our Houston-based law firm has handled some of the most challenging valuation
questions, with millions of dollars and assets at stake.
To get started on your divorce case, call (713) 909-7323 to schedule
a confidential consultation or fill out our
online form 24/7.
Our Approach to Complex Property Division
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
- 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
Texas is a Community Property State: What Does That Mean?
Division of property in divorce is either considered community or separate
property, and it includes assets and liabilities. Texas outlines community
property as all property and debt acquired/earned from the date of marriage
up until the divorce that isn’t considered separate property.
HOWEVER, even if property is classified as community property - Texas courts
are not bound to follow an equal fifty-fifty division of assets of the
community. The court may award a
disproportionate share that is “just and right” to one spouse over the other (taking into
consideration of multiple factors of the divorce case) instead.
So what that means for spouses that can't come to an agreement on the division
If you and your spouse cannot agree on the details of property division,
a judge will have considerable discretion about how to divide the property
- which is why we encourage you to
contact our Texas family law firm today, so that our experienced divorce attorneys can begin preparing your
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 -
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
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
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.
Call (713) 909-7323 for a Confidential Consultation
Set up a confidential consultation with a proven divorce attorney at our
firm. We can use our experience and problem-solving capacity to explain
Texas community property laws and how they apply to your unique situation.
More importantly, we can address your worries and help you feel at ease
while we handle the unique aspects of your case. Let our Houston divorce
lawyers solve your problems with clear, effective solutions.
Fill out our short online form
or call us to schedule an initial consultation.