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Division of Complex Assets

Specialized Complex Asset Division in Houston: Your Law Firm for Tackling Complex Asset Challenges 

Complex asset division involves many types of assets. Those assets can include:

  • Separate property

  • Real estate

  • Retirement and Pension

  • Trusts

  • Business Interests

  • Insurance

  • Tax considerations

  • Virtual assets

  • Antiques

  • Collectibles

  • Art

  • Other unique or nontraditional assets.


If your divorce involves any of these complex assets, then the division of property can be complex and more involved than a typical property division in a divorce. You may need experts to value certain assets, or to trace transactions to determine how to proceed with dividing your complex assets. You need an attorney like me who has the experience, background, and knowledge of complex asset division. You need a Smarter Path to identify the issues associated with complex assets and the efficiency needed to preserve these assets for division.

  • Where do I start with a divorce?
    The first step is to consult with an attorney and learn how Texas law applies to you and your circumstances. Knowledge about the divorce process and what to expect are critical first steps.
  • What are the steps involved in the divorce process that I need to know?
    The main steps in a divorce case are the filing/answer period, mediation for Temporary Orders, Temporary Orders, discovery, final mediation, trial (if necessary), drafting the Divorce Decree and ancillary documents, and finalizing your divorce. Each case is unique though and these steps may or may not apply to your case. The best course of action is to consult with a knowledgeable divorce attorney about your case.
  • How do I file for divorce in Houston?
    Filing for divorce involves preparing a Petition for Divorce asking the Court for legal relief appropriate to your circumstances and then filing it with the district clerk in your county of residence. This will start the divorce process.
  • What happens in a divorce?
    During a divorce, the court will evaluate various aspects of your life, focusing primarily on child custody and property distribution. You're not just splitting assets; you're rearranging your life. It's more than just legal paperwork; it's a pivotal moment that requires informed decisions.
  • What does a family and divorce lawyer do?
    A family and divorce lawyer helps clients navigate issues related to divorce, children of the marriage, division of property, and other issues related to family law in general. A family lawyer is a broader term covering anyone who represents clients facing issues governed by the Texas Family Code. Whereas a divorce attorney is a more specific type of family attorney who represents clients in divorce.
  • How do you tell friends and family about divorce?
    When telling friends and family about divorce, less is more. The best thing to tell them is that you and your spouse have grown apart and made the decision to seek a divorce. You do not want to bad-mouth your spouse in case you reconcile later. You also do not want to bad-mouth the other parent. That never looks good if your case later ends up in Court. Taking the high road and being the bigger person are the best ways to handle discussions about your divorce.
  • How can you get a quick divorce in Texas?
    There is not a template for a “quick divorce.” In Texas, you must wait at least 60 days from the date you file for divorce before a Judge can grant your divorce. However, before you can get a divorce you and your spouse would need to come to an agreement on all issues present in your case. If you have children, then you must cover conservatorship, possession and access, child support, and health insurance at a minimum. You must also divide all of your community property when you finalize a divorce. Even if you believe you and your spouse are on the same page, there are many topics to cover and many decisions to be made in your divorce. If you believe you and your spouse are in agreement, the best way to get a quick divorce is for one spouse to hire an attorney to review the agreement, and if it is a full and complete agreement, the attorney can draft all the necessary documents and help you finalize your divorce.
  • Can you divorce without your spouse's signature in Texas?
    Under specific and unique circumstances, you could be divorced in Texas with your spouse signing any documents. However, you are required by law to serve your spouse with notice of the divorce. There could be significant consequences, both personally and criminally, if you attempt to divorce your spouse without their knowledge.
  • Do you have to prove you’ve been separated for 2 years in order to file for divorce?
    No, there are no separation requirements in Texas. In fact, there's no formal "legal separation" in Texas. In some states, you may have legal separation. In Texas, you are married until the Judge grants your divorce at the end of the case. You are still married even after someone files for divorce. What is required to file for divorce in Texas is that you are a domiciliary of Texas (live in Texas) for six months before you file for divorce, and that you are a resident of the county were you file in Texas for at least 90 days before filing for divorce. This requirement is directly from Texas Family Code section 6.301.
  • What are the different types of Texas divorces?
    There are no specific types of divorce in Texas. There are different Alternative Dispute Resolution methods which are options other than going to Court and having a final trial. These methods commonly include mediation, arbitration, and collaborative law. Furthermore, there are divorces involving different issues, such as custody of children, property division, complex asset division, high-net-worth divorces, and divorces involving business owners. These issues are often referred to as different “types” of divorces. Your unique case, circumstances, and issues will influence how to navigate your divorce and you need an experienced, knowledgeable attorney like me to help guide you through this process for the best possible outcome in your case.
  • How long does a divorce take in Texas?
    The minimum amount of time from filing to finalization is 61 days. However, that’s rare when attorneys are involved. You can expect your divorce to last 6 - 12 months on average. Some can be shorter and some last longer.
  • How does cheating/adultery affect divorce in Texas?
    Adultery and cheating are often viewed by Courts as a symptom of a failed marriage. Unfortunately, your Judge has seen and heard a lot of stories about adultery, cheating, and heartbreak. Sadly, some attorneys seize on adultery and cheating as a way to justify needless litigation, emotional turmoil, and higher divorce costs, without any real benefit to the offended spouse at the end of the case. Ultimately, adultery and cheating may influence property division, but there are over two dozen different factors a Judge can consider when dividing property. In your case, you may have better support for a larger division of property with other evidence than adultery and cheating. In less common situations, if the adultery and cheating is egregious enough or money was spent related to the adultery and cheating, then those acts will have a larger influence on the property division. When children are involved, adultery and cheating typically does not impact custody, unless the children have been exposed to inappropriate situations or conduct related to the adultery and cheating.
  • What is the difference between fault and no-fault divorces?
    Texas is a no-fault divorce state. Fault grounds may be used to justify the divorce, but it is rare for a Judge to grant a divorce on fault grounds because it is not needed to grant the divorce. Fault grounds are often conflated with over two dozen different factors a Judge can consider when dividing property. Fault grounds are not required for the Judge to factor the underlying actions into the property division. Fault grounds should be strongly considered before filing, because they tend to do more harm than good for resolving the case. Usually fault grounds end up costing the parties more money than anything. The money spent on attorneys could have been divided between the parties instead, if more thought and strategy was used when filing for divorce.
  • Is no-fault divorce good?
    No-fault divorces are neutral. A no-fault divorce allows the Court to grant a divorce as long as one spouse testifies, “the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.” This comes directly from Texas Family Code section 6.001. No-fault also means that if one spouse wants a divorce, the other spouse cannot prevent it. The other spouse can make it difficult or more expensive, but the divorce will eventually take place.
  • What is community property in Texas?
    From the date of marriage until the present, anything acquired by either spouse is presumed to be community property. This includes income, vehicles, real estate, retirement accounts, stocks, or any other asset. It also includes any assets in either spouse’s name. It makes no difference if your name is only on the account or if the account is owned jointly. That has nothing to do with community property. What is in your bank account, that you earned during the marriage, is just as much your spouse’s community property as yours. Same goes for vehicles, real estate, retirement accounts, stocks, or any other asset. Leaving your spouse’s name off of something acquired during your marriage does not impact your spouse’s rights or interests in the property.
  • Are retirement accounts protected in divorce?
    Retirement accounts are typically protected to the extent there are rules in place to prevent unnecessary spending or liquidation of retirement accounts during a divorce. Retirement accounts can and often are divided in a divorce.
  • How are business assets divided in a divorce?
    A business, other than a sole proprietorship, is a separate and distinct legal entity. Typically, the assets of a business are owned by the business, not a spouse. Therefore, the Court cannot divide the assets of a business. There are potential claims to get to assets of a business under certain situations, but those claims are specific to the facts and circumstances of your case. Often the business is awarded to one spouse or the other and then a buyout or division of other assets is used to compensate for the value of the business. For example, if one spouse is awarded the business, the other spouse may be awarded the residence, a larger portion of the retirement account, or some other arrangement to account for the business awarded to one spouse.
  • How do you value a business in a divorce?
    Business valuation is handled by an expert who is trained, educated, and experienced in valuing businesses. The main methodologies to value a business are the Income Approach (cash flows value), Market Approach (value if sold), and Asset Approach (book value). Business records are required to be provided to the expert, including tax returns, financial statements, banking records, debt records, and other documents relevant to the type of business. The valuation expert analyzes the records and may interview managers of the business as well. Then a report is issued by the expert who explains the process of the valuation and the methodology used to determine the value.
  • When does separate property become community property in Texas?
    Separate can only become community property under specific circumstances set out in Texas Family Code section 4.203. Such an agreement to convert separate property to community property must be in writing, signed by the spouses, identify the property being converted from separate property to community property, and specify that the property is being converted to the spouse’s community property. The agreement does not require consideration, which is the exchange of something of value for receipt of something of value. Meaning, a spouse may convert separate property to community property without receiving anything in return.
  • What is separate property?
    Separate property is anything owned or claimed by a spouse prior to marriage, property acquired by a spouse during the marriage by gift, devise, or descent, or the recovery for personal injuries sustained by a spouse during a marriage, except for recovery for loss of earning capacity during a marriage. This definition comes directly from Texas Family Code section 3.001.
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Protecting Your Wealth: Contact Hassell Family Law Today

If you are facing a complex asset division matter in Houston or the surrounding areas, Hassell Family Law is here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation where you will be guided through the process and rest assured that your complex asset issues are properly addressed. Trust me to advocate for your best interests and protect your assets.

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