Information is important in determining marital estate

There are a lot of factors that can make one divorce more complicated than another, and money is certainly one of them. It is not just the total dollar amount of assets in a high net worth divorce that makes hiring an experienced Fort Worth attorney who looks out for your individual interests such an important step in the process.

Estates that include multiple pieces of real property, executive compensation packages, investments, retirement accounts, business interests and other complex assets or liabilities must be divided. The first step in the process is to understand exactly what assets the couple owns, including related issues such as tax benefits or consequences.

To accomplish this task, a spouse will need to gather as much documentation as possible. Mortgage statements, bank statements, property deeds, tax returns, W-2s and life insurance policies are all examples of important financial documents that should be collected. These are also probably some of the more obvious ones.

What about frequent-flyer miles? Yes, frequent-flyer miles and other types of reward programs have value as well. These types of benefits that were acquired during the marriage are considered martial property too.

What if a spouse won’t share financial documents? The truth is that some spouses are not necessarily forthcoming or terribly helpful to the other during divorce, but an attorney can force the disclosure of necessary papers.

What if there are assets that the other spouse doesn’t know about? How can you gather information about something when you don’t even know it exists? An attorney can work with other professionals, like a forensic accountant, to discover any assets that may have been forgotten or even purposely hidden.

Source:, “Keep an Eye on Finances During Divorce,” Kiplinger, May 23, 2014