Complex Marital Estates

Dallas Attorneys Representing Parties in Divorce Actions

Under Texas law, any property that either spouse acquires during a marriage is generally presumed to be community property. While the laws pertaining to community property should theoretically make it a straightforward process to divide property in a divorce, in many cases, complex marital estates make equitably dividing property an arduous task. If you intend to seek a divorce and you and your spouse have significant assets, it is advisable to engage seasoned legal counsel to help you seek an equitable and just division of your marital estate. The experienced Dallas divorce lawyers of the McClure Law Group will work thoroughly and meticulously to assess your marital estate and aggressively assist you in advocating for your right to an honest division of property.

Premarital Agreements

In many cases in which either party entering a marriage has substantial assets, property, or business interests, the parties will enter into a pre-marital agreement prior to getting married. Although pre-marital agreements are meant to make the process of dividing the marital estate less complicated, if an agreement is not properly drafted and executed, one spouse may argue that the agreement is invalid and unenforceable. For example, if one party did not adequately disclose his or her financial obligations before entering into a pre-marital agreement, the other party may argue that the agreement is unconscionable. If you have a pre-marital agreement and wish to pursue a divorce, a knowledgeable family law attorney can analyze the agreement to determine whether it is enforceable and anticipate any issues that may arise regarding the agreement during the divorce process.

Transmutation

In Texas, property is either community property, meaning it is the property of both spouses, or separate property, meaning that one spouse is the sole owner of the property. Property includes real estate, business interests, and bank accounts. In cases where the nature of property is clearly defined, characterizing it will be a straightforward process. In many instances, however, even if property is deemed separate or community at the time it is acquired, the nature of the property may change throughout the course of the marriage due to transmutation.

Transmutation is the conversion of property from separate to community or vice versa. While transmutation can occur via an agreement or gift from one spouse to another, it more commonly occurs due to the comingling of assets. For example, if one spouse owns a home that is separate property, but at some point uses significant community funds to repair or improve the home, this may convert the home to a community asset. In cases where the nature of property is unclear or disputed, it may be necessary to engage a forensic accountant to trace the nature of the property to determine the correct characterization.

Valuation of Businesses

Another factor that can complicate a divorce involving a complex marital estate is the ownership of interest in a business. If the business is community property, the process of valuing the business can be complicated. Under Texas law, there are several different methods of determining the value of a business, and the parties may not agree on the most appropriate method. Additionally, even if the parties agree on the value of a business, they may disagree as to how the value of the business should be divided and whether one party should retain control over the business.

Meet with a Skilled Divorce Lawyer in Dallas

One of the main points of contention in most divorce cases is how any marital property should be divided. In divorces involving complex marital estates or disputes over the nature of certain property, negotiations between the parties can quickly become hostile. If you intend to seek a divorce in Dallas, it is wise to obtain legal counsel as soon as possible. The trusted divorce attorneys of the McClure Law Group will aggressively advocate on your behalf in helping you assert your rights and protect your interests. We frequently assist individuals in divorce cases in Dallas, Garland, Fort Worth, Richardson, McKinney, Irving, Frisco, and Rockwall, and in numerous cities throughout Dallas, Grayson, Collin, Tarrant, Denton, and Rockwall Counties. We are also available by appointment at our Collin County office in Plano. We can be contacted at 214.692.8200 or via the online form to schedule a meeting.

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