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Valuation specialists and property division in Texas divorces

The longer a Houston couple is married, the more interconnected the spouses' finances often become. Substantial wealth enriches the quality of the couple's lives. These same valuable assets can provoke a nasty dispute during a high net worth divorce.

Emotional difficulties are no less apparent among wealthy spouses than other divorcing couples. In fact, emotions may be more extreme when property division involves a fortune. Legal, financial and personal counselors can help separate feelings from finances at this time.

Divorcing spouses are responsible for disclosing all marital income, assets and liabilities, which may not be all that easy for couples with complex estates. Locating, tabulating and valuing assets can take a considerable amount of time. Valuation specialists frequently are employed to assess property values.

Valuation experts unravel financial knots tying spouses to shared property. These accounting experts use recognized, unbiased methods to evaluate the true worth of assets, no matter how complex in nature they are. Some analysts specialize in placing values on businesses and interests in businesses, while others concentrate on securities, insurance and intellectual property.

A divorce is no time to leave stones unturned. You may have forgotten assets, like life insurance policies acquired long ago or placed in estate planning trusts. With some exceptions, these assets are included in marital property, which in Texas is divided according to community property laws.

The lifestyle the couple enjoyed during marriage is a sensitive issue, especially when one spouse's wealth is substantially greater than a former partner's. Financial strain often occurs when ex-spouses attempt to maintain two separate households with funds once used to support a joint lifestyle.

An examination of elaborate assets and debts is necessary before a property settlement can be reached. When divorcing couples can't or won't come to terms, a judge will decide how the property is split. Texas laws direct judges to divide property evenly between spouses.

Source: Forbes, "Getting The Most From A High-Dollar Divorce" Russ Alan Prince, Dec. 01, 2014

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