Divorce for Doctors
No one enters a marriage anticipating a divorce, but divorces are increasingly common across all income levels and professions. When one of the parties in a divorce is a doctor, he or she may earn a much higher income than his or her spouse, and if their divorce is not handled properly, it can lead to an unjust division of property. If you or your spouse are a doctor and you are considering filing for divorce, it is advisable to retain a divorce attorney adept at handling complicated cases involving high net worth individuals and who will fight for a distribution of assets that is in your best interest. The Dallas divorce lawyers of the McClure Law Group will work diligently to obtain an accurate evaluation of all property and assets and seek a property division that will allow you to maintain your standard of living.Determining the Nature of Property
In Texas, all property obtained during a marriage is presumed to be community property unless either party can prove that it should be considered separate property. Community property is considered the property of both spouses and is subject to equitable distribution. If the parties have a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement that defines the nature of any property, such an agreement must be analyzed when evaluating and distributing any property or assets.Valuation of Medical Practice
A medical practice, like any other business, is an asset that can be subject to equitable distribution. Many doctors own their own practice, and unless a practice is clearly defined as separate property, at least some portion of the practice may be considered community property that is subject to equitable distribution. Even if the practice is clearly defined as separate property, if any marital assets were comingled with the assets of the practice it could create a community property claim against the practice or the separate property estate of the spouse also owns the practice.
In most cases, it is unlikely that the doctor spouse will want to sell his or her practice pursuant to the divorce. Rather, a divorcing doctor’s practice will likely be subject to an assessment of its value, and a portion of the value of the practice will be distributed to the non-doctor spouse. Most businesses have both a book value, which is the monetary value of a business that is based on the value of any assets and property, minus any debts or liabilities, and a fair market value, which is what someone would pay for the business. There are several methods of determining the value of a business; some are based solely on a business’s book or fair market value, and some look at a combination of the two values. In any divorce involving significant property or assets, such as a medical practice, it is essential to obtain an accurate assessment of their value. An experienced divorce attorney can guide you in determining which method of valuation is most favorable to your case.Spousal Maintenance
In the Texas courts, spousal maintenance, which is referred to as alimony in other jurisdictions, is infrequently granted, regardless of the disparity in income between the divorcing spouses. There are instances when the courts will grant spousal maintenance, however. For example, if the parties have been married for ten or more years, a party seeking spousal maintenance may be awarded maintenance if he or she demonstrates a diligent effort to earn the income needed to support his or her minimum reasonable needs, or an effort to develop the skills needed to earn such an income, and there will not be sufficient property upon divorce to meet those needs.
The law explicitly defines the length of time a party can receive spousal maintenance. In cases where the marriage lasted between ten and twenty years, spousal maintenance can be awarded for up to five years. For marriages lasting between twenty and thirty years, spousal maintenance can be awarded for up to seven years, and for marriages lasting thirty years or more, spousal maintenance can be granted for up to ten years.Meet With a Trusted Divorce Lawyer in Dallas
Dividing assets in a divorce where one spouse is a doctor who earns a high income and has significant earning potential can be a complex process, and the parties may not agree on what constitutes an equitable distribution. Navigating the intricacies of divorce for doctors requires skill and experience in assessing high value assets and negotiating a reasonable division of property. The divorce attorneys of the McClure Law Group are well-versed in handling complex marriage dissolution cases and will aggressively pursue a settlement that provides you with a fair division of assets. We represent individuals in Dallas, Fort Worth, Irving, Garland, Garland, Richardson, Frisco, McKinney, and Rockwall. Additionally, we represent parties in other cities in Dallas, Tarrant, Grayson, Collin, Denton, and Rockwall Counties. We can be contacted at 214.692.8200 or through our online form to schedule a consultation.