Portrait of John K Grubb

Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

4550 Post Oak Place, Suite 201 • Houston, Texas 77027-3139

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

What makes a divorce complex?

All divorces have the common issues of division of community property, usually the marital home, the cars, the bank accounts, and child custody and support. Many Houston divorces are not as simple as home, car, checking accounts, and with whom or where the kids will live.

Variables that add to the intricacy of a divorce come in many forms. Divorce lawyers often quote obstacles such as

  • The marital estate’s size and composition
  • Special needs children
  • Allegations of child abuse or serious domestic violence which must be resolved before the divorce can move forward
  • A spouse or child with mental illness or other emotional disorders or chemical dependency
  • Special needs children

as issues that will delay a divorce settlement.

Complex Community Property

Experienced attorneys know that divorces of high net worth couples having extensive and intricate assets take longer. Complex property is generally more difficult to value and separate. Many Houston couples have community property that often includes

  • Investment portfolios of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and real estate
  • Collectibles such as cars, art, coins, and antiques
  • Multiple bank accounts, including offshore accounts
  • International assets, such as a vacation home in Tuscany
  • Trusts
  • Retirement accounts – pensions, 401(k)s, IRAs, stock options, deferred compensation
  • Mineral rights
  • Business ownership or interest

Diversity of marital assets makes division between the two spouses challenging. Ownership of assets must be traced, individual assets located, and the property and business valued. A team of professionals such as forensic accountants, CPAs, appraisers, and tax attorneys are required to divide the assets.

Often asset valuation becomes quite contentious. One party comes with a low number; the other spouse’s professional might place a value on the assets at a significantly higher figure due to valuation methods that can be used.

Complex Families

Houston is an international city, combining people from all over the world. Our marriages reflect our multinational flavor, and marriages to “foreigners” are quite common. International divorce cases present issues of their own. Countries having a secular legal system and reciprocity with the United States generally recognize a divorce obtained in the United States.

Much of the complexity in multinational divorces revolves around assets held abroad, offshore trusts, and child custody. Every nation has its own laws and customs in regard to children. Child custody and visitation often can become contentious and difficult to resolve due to cultural expectations. Furthermore, other countries may be extremely privacy oriented, and restrain the nature of financial information can be disclosed to your lawyer and other professionals of your divorce team.

Complex divorces have intricate issues that must be worked out by your divorce attorney. Most often a team of various professionals are required to assist you in reaching a divorce settlement. It is important for Houstonians to seek out a divorce attorney that is knowledgeable and experienced in complex divorce cases where there are extensive domestic and international assets and/or a marriage to a foreign national. An experienced attorney is instrumental in guiding you through all your options so that you can select which one is most beneficial to you.

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