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b2ap3_thumbnail_fort-worth-divorce-lawyer.jpgWhen a Texas business owner gets divorced, he or she faces several difficult challenges. First, the business’s value must be assessed. Second, the value must be divided between spouses as part of the marital asset division. And third, the business owner’s personal attachment to the business must be navigated as the business is treated as an objective asset rather than the product of years of painstaking personal investment. 

If you are getting divorced in Texas, do not leave the fate of your business to chance. Read this blog to get an overview of how small businesses are valued in a divorce and then get help from an experienced divorce attorney who can connect you to business valuation professionals. 

Small Business Valuation Methods

The value of a business can change quickly, making it important to choose a specific date on which the business’s value will be estimated and then applied throughout the asset negotiation process. While the method used to determine your business will depend on several factors, including the type of business you have, there are three methods that are used most often when assessing a small business’s value. These are: 

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TX divorce lawyerOnce you have finally made the decision to get divorced, you may feel like a weight has been lifted. But while deciding to get divorced may feel like the hardest part of the process, it is only the beginning. Now you need to look carefully at your situation and decide which divorce strategy you want to pursue. Each strategy has advantages and disadvantages, and an experienced Texas divorce attorney can help you explore your options. Here are the three most common divorce strategies in Texas.

Mediated Divorce

When couples use a neutral third-party mediator, each spouse still has their own attorney and gets to fight for the things they want out of their divorce. Choosing a mediator does not mean spouses will not get their needs met or their voices heard; rather, a mediator encourages couples to discuss their disagreements productively with the aim of achieving a compromise. Because mediation is more peaceful than courtroom litigation, children often benefit enormously from parents who divorce using mediation.

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is somewhat similar to mediation in that its main aim is achieving a peaceful divorce decree that meets everyone’s needs. However, in a collaborative divorce, couples employ a team of professionals who are committed to cooperation - including the attorneys. Everybody works together to help the spouses make choices about property division, a parenting agreement, spousal support, and more. Other professionals, such as financial experts and child psychologists, can give advice and help couples reach an optimal resolution. Although collaborative divorce can involve more people, it can actually save money compared to a litigated divorce because it helps the overall process move much faster.

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TX divorce lawyerEven as divorce rates stabilize across the country, divorce continues to be a difficult and contentious experience for many couples in Texas. However, not all divorces are destined to be conflict-ridden or involve months or years of court litigation. Collaborative divorce is a strategy that has emerged in recent years as an effective way of avoiding unnecessary conflict and time in court while ensuring both partners solve important issues.

A collaborative divorce is a process wherein both spouses agree to work together, with the help of their attorneys and a team of professionals, to resolve their differences cooperatively rather than combatively. Even the attorneys are committed to working together to protect each spouse’s individual and mutual goals. If you are considering divorce in Texas, here are three ways that collaborative divorce may benefit you.

Save Time

Divorce is notorious for taking far longer than people prefer because important but difficult issues must be resolved before a divorce decree can be finalized. A collaborative divorce can help couples focus on resolving issues like property division, child custody, and spousal support quickly and responsively so both partners are satisfied with the outcome. By working with a team of experienced professionals, spouses can focus on one issue at a time and often find solutions much faster than through the more combative traditional approach.

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TX divorce lawyerAlthough divorce is often a difficult and contentious process, it is not necessarily this way for everyone. Many Texas couples, recognizing that they are simply incompatible or that they would be happier apart, are willing to make an effort to resolve their issues outside of court in an uncontested or “agreed” divorce. While this is often easier for couples who have not been married for very long and do not share property or children, uncontested divorces are available to most Dallas couples who want one.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

To get an uncontested divorce, a Texas couple must agree to all of the issues involved in a traditional divorce. Depending on a couple’s circumstances, this could include major elements like alimony, child custody arrangements, marital property division, and even minor ones like what to do with the family pet. As long as a couple agrees on all issues, they can agree before a judge to skip the trial process and create a divorce decree containing their agreed-upon terms.

In contrast, a contested divorce is one in which spouses disagree on one or more issues and require the help of mediation or the court to decide on issues of fact, fairness, or the application of law. While couples in an uncontested divorce can also use mediation to their advantage, they would do so before filing for divorce and then present their agreement to the court for approval.

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TX divorce attorneyWhen a married couple feels as though their relationship is coming to an end but they have some reservations or want to stay married for personal reasons, they may choose to temporarily separate. Many states have an option that legally allows couples to separate without getting divorced, known as a “legal separation,” but legal separation as it exists in other states does not exist in Texas. If you think you may want to end your relationship but are not sure what your options are, speak with a Texas family law attorney.

Separating Without Getting Divorced

While a couple cannot get a legal separation, they can take steps that essentially provide many of the same outcomes. For example, a couple can ask their attorneys to create a petition and exchange agreement. This allows a couple to transfer marital property to one spouse or the other so it becomes the personal property of that spouse. Then, if the couple decides to get divorced later, the property in the petition and exchange order will not be part of the community property division. Spouses may also file a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship, or SAPCR, to make formal custody arrangements, including child support payments. A judge must approve the SAPCR, and once in place, it is legally binding.

A couple who wants to test the waters of divorce may decide to try an informal temporary separation before they pursue divorce. Sometimes couples get enough space and time through a temporary separation that they are able to reconcile their relationship. Other times, they proceed with a divorce. A temporary separation using a only verbal agreement is not legally enforceable, so couples who choose to go this route should be aware that they may be placing themselves in a risky legal position.

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