Dividing Marital Property
People are often surprised by the disputes that arise during property division. Even people of ordinary means often have more property — and thus more conflict — than they expected. And when there are significant assets at stake, property division becomes both complex and adversarial.
The characterization of property as either community or separate is an important step of the property division process. In Texas, community property is divided between spouses during a divorce while separate property is not. At Gunnstaks Law Office, in Plano, we investigate and trace every property and financial asset to ensure separate property is kept off the bargaining table and community property is fairly divided.
The proper valuation of a professional practice or family-owned business is complicated. Our firm uses a team of experts to accurately determine both the current and future income-producing capacity of businesses to ensure our clients get a fair share of marital property.
During a divorce, property is characterized as either community or separate property. When professional practices, family-owned businesses and other high-value assets are involved, the characterization process is extremely important. If high-value assets are characterized as separate property, they will not be divided between spouses. We thoroughly investigate all of our clients’ and their spouses’ property to make sure all property is accurately classified as separate or community.
Making Sure Every Asset Is Accounted For
When high net worth individuals and high-value assets are involved, the property division process can quickly become highly contentious. High-value assets, such as income-producing properties, sophisticated investment portfolios, closely held businesses and professional practices can be complicated to divide. Individuals and families have spent years building businesses; during divorce, many risk losing a portion of their business to their ex-spouses.
Valuing certain assets — such as income-producing properties, sophisticated investment portfolios, closely held businesses and professional practices — can also be difficult. Our attorneys work closely with forensic accountants, cash flow experts and appraisers to accurately value each property in the marital estate. Once we make sure all property and assets are uncovered and understand the full value of each property, we help our clients leave their marriages with a fair and equitable share of the estate.
Making Sure All Property Is Classified Correctly
In Texas, only community property is subject to division in a divorce. This means any property spouses owned before the marriage, or received through inheritance or gift during the marriage is usually separate property and will not be divided. We investigate every piece of property our clients and their spouses own to help ensure that separate property is kept separate and all community property is accurately identified and fairly divided.
A fighter and a leader
At Gunnstaks Law Office in Dallas, Texas, our principal lawyer is not only a tough litigator in cases involving marital property division. He is also a leader in the field and has won groundbreaking cases in the area of property division law.
Using all the legal tools available
We ensure that our clients receive their fair share of marital property by using all the tools available to us. We undertake discovery to determine the extent of the marital and non-marital property. We review protective documents such as prenups and postnups. We focus on closely held businesses, which some people use to try to hide assets.
Leaving no stone unturned
In addition to making sure that the truth comes out about the value of a business, we also look for other hidden assets that are often overlooked. We have increased the value of marital property by ensuring that furs, jewelry, artwork and other property are included. We see that retirement funds, stock portfolios and pensions are correctly valued.
Fair property settlement offers are common in our practice
Our attorney is determined and thorough. This often leads the other party to settle. Opposing lawyers and their clients seldom wish to experience the level of scrutiny that we use in marital property division cases. We have been able to uncover attempts to hide assets in many instances, leading the opposition to settle for far more than they would have offered otherwise.
Put yourself in good hands
Marital property division can be the most stressful part of a divorce. Knowing that you have a fighter on your side can make the process less painful. When you begin with C. “Luke” Gunnstaks, you will have an advocate who will not back down. Contact our Dallas office to learn more. Call 972-590-6572.
“Luke” and Cynthia are Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.