Keith B. Schulefand, Esq.
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Don't leave complex assets to chance in divorce

It is more and more likely for high-achieving workers to not only marry later in life, but to also seek out partners who hold similar values. While this often provides adequate financial cushion during a marriage, it can have serious implications during divorce.

Ending a marriage that has only a handful of joint assets can be straightforward, but what happens when there are significant marital and separate property to sort through? Many high-asset divorces in Texas involve complicated assets, like investments and special savings accounts. These issues take time and attention to resolve.

We both earned roughly the same; is it really that important?

In 1970, working wives only earned about 52 percent of their husband's salaries. It is now incredibly common for both partners in a marriage to work, and as of 2017, that figure shot up to 78 percent, although there are many wives who drastically out-earn their husbands. It is tempting to use your similar incomes as an excuse to try and quickly parcel out marital assets, but this is usually a bad idea.

High-income earners have much more at stake during a divorce. Money -- the kind readily available in your joint checking account -- is not the only marital asset at stake. Asset division includes homes, cars, real estate investment and 401Ks. Many of these have tax implications to consider, while some assets -- such as inheritances -- hold incredible sentimental value.

I'm not really that worried; we signed a prenuptial agreement

Prenuptial agreements are invaluable tools. Couples can lay the blueprint for a possible divorce, deciding anything from how to divide assets to how to pay alimony. However, when was the last time you looked at your prenup?

If a significant amount of time has passed, marital assets have greatly increased or one partner's income grew considerably, a prenup might not be as protective as you hope.

Your financial future is on the line.

You might be part of the growing percentage of couples who earn similar annual incomes. High-asset divorces usually require added time, energy and attention to make certain that both parties are satisfied with the equitable distribution of assets. Although this does not necessarily mean that each person will end up with an equal 50/50 share of everything, it does mean that everyone can expect to receive a portion of the marital assets that is just and fair.

However, to reach that point, you may need aggressive, vigorous representation on your side. Experienced lawyers understand the nuances of Texas family law and how it applies to your most complex assets.

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