Many people who live in the Houston area have a lot of their wealth tied up real estate.
Even families with average wealth and income will likely have equity in the family residence. Moreover, many high-asset divorces will involve couples who own investment real estate or acreage in the countryside.
In Texas, it is also important not to forget that many people own important mineral rights, including the right to extract oil and gas. If they qualify as community property, these rights are subject to division in a divorce.
A large real estate portfolio raises a number of divorce-related issues
Couples who are going through or considering divorce need to be aware that if they have a lot of real estate, they are likely to have to deal with a number of potentially controversial issues before they can finalize a decree.
For one, putting an exact value on investment real estate or a large acreage is just not as simple as it is for a run-of-the-mill family residence. It may be necessary to hire a professional to appraise the property.
Even then, an experience attorney will need to check over the appraisal to be sure it was done according to Texas law.
Furthermore, there can be arguments about whether or not a given piece of real estate really is community property.
For example, one person could claim that he or she owned the property outright before the marriage or that he or she received it by way of a gift or an inheritance. In other cases, division may be complicated by the fact that, legally, the real estate is being held in a corporation, an LLC or even a trust.
Divvying up a real estate portfolio during a divorce can be both complicated and contentious, but with an appropriate legal strategy, a person can make sure that he or she comes out with a fair financial settlement.