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Neil and Pegi Young divorce raises questions of community property

On the subject of marital assets, people generally think of things such as real estate, vehicles, retirement accounts, the family business and bank accounts. However, debts and charitable organizations also have to be addressed in many divorces.

Consider the pending divorce of musician Neil Young and his wife Pegi. Neil and Pegi, who is also a musician, have been married for 36 years. Neil petitioned to dissolve the marriage in late July. He and Pegi have often collaborated on music and other endeavors, including a charitable organization called The Bridge School, which they co-founded in 1986.

The spouses have two adult children together, one of whom, the son, lives with cerebral palsy. Neil and Pegi were inspired by their son to create The Bridge School to provide educational opportunities to other children with severe disabilities. Since the organization was created, the parents have held benefit concerts each year, and another is scheduled for October.

When spouses collaborate for years on something which they both are passionate about, it isn't difficult to imagine the complexities that can arise in reaching an agreeable divorce settlement. In the event that the asset in question is a charitable labor of love, then it may be important to take steps to restructure the asset, perhaps through the creation of a trust, in order to keep the endeavor going after the marriage has ended.

As for the Young divorce, there may also be questions as to which assets are community property and which are separate property. Neil and Pegi Young are getting divorced in California, which, like Texas, is a community property state. To learn more about high net worth divorce in Texas, please visit our family law website.

Source: CBC News, "Neil Young has filed for divorce, Rolling Stone says," Aug. 26, 2014

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