To some extent, a divorce is a divorce no matter the financial state of the couple involved.

For instance, if there are children involved, the couple will still have to agree on or have the court decide child custody and parenting time questions via what Texas law calls a conservatorship. They will also have to agree on child support and, in some cases, on spousal maintenance.

Finally, they will have to divide up all marital property. Because Texas is a community property state, marital property will generally be split 50-50 since each spouse presumably owns an equal share of it.

There may be some questions, though, about whether any given asset is community property, especially when one spouse had considerable wealth before the marriage or received a gift or inheritance even during the relationship.

Property division is one area in which, practically speaking, there are some special challenges with high-asset divorces. For instance, between the two parties,

  • The couple may own multiple pieces of investment real estate which will each need to be valued; in some cases, land valuation made to account for oil and gas rights, easements, and other special circumstances;
  • The couple may have pension plans, stock options, guaranteed bonuses and other benefits through their employers; employee benefits can also affect child support;
  • The couple may own a share in a business, including a physician’s office or other professional practice;
  • The couple may have other assets, like artwork, antique or luxury cars, collectibles and other property that is hard to put an exact value on;
  • The couple may have some other circumstances, including ownership of offshore accounts, which, although often perfectly legal, can present opportunities for either side to try to hide assets;
  • Large gifts and inheritances can also present issues with property division.

These assets are often complicated to handle even when the couple is intent upon an amicable divorce. Moreover, in high-dollar cases, there are more opportunities for conflict to erupt during the divorce.