Texas residents have probably heard about the divorce of Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. What they may not know is that his wife, MacKenzie, is about to become the third-richest woman in the world. When their divorce is finalized, her net worth will be more than $35 billion. She will only be surpassed by L'Oréal's Francoise Bettencourt Meyers and Walmart's Alice Walton, respectively worth about $53 billion and $45 billion.
A high asset divorce involves complex asset division. Add a few concealed Bitcoins to cause even more complications. Family law lawyers have been exposed to a cryptocurrency world filled with legal evasions. Although investors have known about Bitcoin since 2009, the issue involving hidden cryptocurrencies is a recent development in high asset divorce cases. In addition to retirement plans, asset valuation, marital property and business assets, cryptocurrency ownership is another complicated dilemma. A few high-net-worth individuals have managed to amass fortunes from small investments in cryptocurrencies.
The divorce rate in Texas and throughout the United States has decreased over the past 20 years. However, the rate has increased for those who are 50 and older. There are many reasons why this is the case. For instance, some couples may have stayed together simply to raise their children. Once the kids leave the house, there is no need to remain married. In some cases, a couple that used to be happy together simply grows apart.
When a business owner in Texas gets a divorce, a spouse could be entitled to up to half of the business. However, there are steps the business owner can take to protect the company.
Wealthy couples who are getting a divorce may learn from the example of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife. Like Texas, Washington is a community property state, and this means that since Bezos started the company after the two were married, he and his wife may split Amazon stock 50/50. However, this would change if they made an agreement at some point in their marriage about how to split property in a divorce.
The owners of private companies in Texas generally need to disclose their business assets when negotiating divorce settlements. Because the business likely represents a significant asset, its value could play a large role in the division of the marital estate. The ex-spouse who owns the business may need to provide a cash settlement to the other party based on the business's value. The valuation could also influence the calculation of child or spousal support.
With the divorce rate between 40 and 50 percent in the United States, Texas couples often wonder what they can do to prevent their marriage ending in divorce. While there are many reasons why couples go their separate ways, one of the major stressors in marriage can be the couple's finances. There are ways that couples can work toward counteracting the negative effects that finances might have on their marriage.
Division of assets is one of the most critical steps in many Texas divorces. The marital home, vehicles and business interests might be points of contention as they can be worth a lot of money. Retirement accounts, too, can be among the most valuable assets that a couple has developed, and dividing them between the parties can be contentious.
As the effective date for new legislation regarding alimony and taxes approaches, Texas couples who are seeking a divorce and negotiating a settlement might be concerned with completing the process before January 1st, 2019. Alimony, which could previously be deducted by the payer and reported by the receiver, will no longer count as a deduction for the payer. This means that in some cases the payer will find themselves in a higher tax bracket than before, while still having to pay alimony. However, if the agreement is finalized before the effective date of the changes, the divorce can be grandfathered in with the old legislation applied.
Taxes are often far from the minds of divorcing spouses in Texas during the process of dissolving a marriage, but taxes can present themselves with unexpected costs in time for those who are unprepared. Kiplinger has published findings by a tax attorney that show some divorcing spouses may face higher taxes with changes in the various laws regarding payments for alimony and child support after a divorce.