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Evaluating Assets Can Pose Difficulties in High-Asset Divorces

Divorce can be challenging even in cases where parting is by mutual and amicable agreement. In Texas, as in every other state, proceedings in which large assets are at stake can create more strain, especially if one or both decide to contest every asset of any value. In fact, a high asset divorce can end up overshadowing all other disputes.

In any high-asset divorce, both spouses are always better off when they secure the help of experienced divorce attorneys. Legal representation can help them address the inherent complexities that come with considerable wealth. In some cases, financial advisers and other experts are engaged to uncover or thwart any attempts to hide assets. The motive for hiding wealth is usually to avoid giving the other spouse joint marital wealth as required by state law.

Evaluating assets can be difficult in high-asset proceedings not only because of the amount of wealth involved but also the types of assets, some of which can be hard to value even with standard formulas used by the courts. For example, when there are stock options that have yet to mature, the value can only be estimated-and any estimate is open to dispute. In such cases, a couple may need to sit down and reach an agreement on the value of such assets in order to proceed with a property settlement.

The attorneys at Verner Brumley Mueller Parker PC strongly advise all couples with considerable assets to establish their value; these include real property, bank accounts, shares and stocks. Liabilities should also be included. Because Texas law requires the equitable distribution of joint marital wealth, a failure to evaluate any asset could lead to a significant financial loss.