Serving Clients in Communities Throughout the Fort Worth Metro Area
At the Bob Leonard Law Group, P.L.L.C., in Fort Worth, Texas, we believe that the law is about people. Not lawyers. Not judges. Not the courts. Divorce is a legal matter involving the dissolution of a marital contract between two people and any minor-aged children that may be the product of the marriage.
Experienced Divorce Representation for High Net Worth Individuals
Here is a typical story about an uncontested divorce involving issues that affect a great many people, even when it doesn't seem as if the family is described as extremely high income or high net worth.
Jack and Mary Johnson were married for 15 years and had two children when they decided that divorce was their best option for moving forward in their lives. Although it was the second marriage for both, the couple chose not to sign a prenuptial agreement. Jack had a 32-year-old son, living independently in Houston. Mary had no children from her first marriage.
Jack was an executive and part owner of a Fort Worth manufacturing corporation. His typical salary, bonuses and stock options totaled about $330,000 per year. Mary recently returned to the workforce as a project manager at a local marketing firm, where she earned an annual salary of $40,000. The Johnsons owned a three-bedroom rambler in a quiet Fort Worth neighborhood, valued for property tax purposes at $185,000. They each had their own car and enjoyed joint ownership in a time share condo in the Colorado mountains, which had become a favorite part of their children's summer vacations.
Jack and Mary thought they could certainly resolve their divorce property settlement concerns amicably, and they even drew up an agreement at their kitchen table. Mary was to keep the house and get primary custody of the children, with ample and fair parenting time for Jack. Mary would keep the $400,000 savings accumulated in the couple's 401(k) account. Jack would keep his stock options, currently valued at $325,000. In addition, Jack would keep his ownership interest in the business and pay Mary alimony and child support to level out the annual income. Jack even agreed to pay additional voluntary child support to cover tuition for the private school the children attended. On the surface, it all seemed so simple and fair.
When Mary showed her initial agreement to her lawyer at the Bob Leonard Law Group, however, there were several areas of concern that weren't covered by the proposed agreement. Her attorney started by asking questions:
- What would Mary's annual and future property tax consequences be if she kept the house?
- How much had the business increased in value since Jack bought into the investment?
- What was the current value of the business and the future projected earnings?
- Did Jack have any compensation, bonuses or stock options deferred to a future date?
- How was the 401(k) invested, and what was the anticipated annual rate of return until Mary started taking distributions at age 65?
- Did Jack have tax-sheltered investments in offshore accounts? Was Mary aware of them?
- How would Jack's business partners be affected by the divorce and property settlement?
- What about the valuation of Jack's business equipment, including annual depreciation?
- Did the proposed voluntary child support cover the children's extracurricular activities and college costs?
- Did the alimony agreement take into account increased living expenses?
- How would the couple's time share ownership and maintenance fees be divided fairly?
- Could Jack's adult son from his previous marriage have a legitimate claim for any of the couple's assets?
When Mary realized she couldn't answer many of the questions, she knew that even a simple divorce can include some complex financial issues lying beneath the surface. She also knew that she was in the right hands with an attorney from the Bob Leonard Law Group. Her lawyer knew what questions to ask during the initial consultation, and she could trust that the firm would fully protect her financial interests. It didn't necessarily mean her divorce would end up in messy litigation, but it did mean that when they sat down to revisit a settlement, all of the critical information would be on the table.
Simply put, don't assume your divorce will be as simple as drawing a line down the middle of a list of assets. No matter what your personal financial circumstances are, there are always complex issues that need to be taken into consideration. Our firm has been there before, and we can help you protect your long-term interests at every turn.
Our service area includes communities throughout the following North Texas counties:
Tarrant County · Denton County · Parker County · Hood County · Ellis County · Johnson County · Wise County
From offices in Fort Worth, our high asset property division lawyers provide legal advice and representation for clients in such communities as Arlington, Irving, Grapevine, Colleyville, Lewisville and North Richland Hills, TX. Call us at 817-336-8500 or contact us by e-mail to arrange a consultation with an experienced Fort Worth marital property division attorney today.