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When a business is an asset in question during a divorce proceeding it will inevitably raise a number of complex issues that must be worked out. In order to successfully negotiate this process it is important to be represented by an attorney with experience that is specific to divorce proceedings that involve businesses so that your assets are protected in a way that will ideally allow for the continuation of your endeavors. You worked hard to build up your company into what it is today, it only makes sense to protect what you have achieved.


The first issue that needs to be addressed when a business is at stake in a divorce is to determine if it is marital or separate property. Businesses that are separate property typically will be protected during a divorce proceeding, while businesses that are determined to be marital property very likely will be subject to the divorce proceedings. If your business predated the marriage, it almost always will be considered separate property. This can, however, be challenged if during the marriage the business has grown in value significantly. Businesses that were passed down to a person through their family, inherited or gifted, are usually a similar situation, again depending on if significant additional value has been added during the marriage.

A more complex issue arises if the business was started with separate property funds, for example if the startup capital originated before the marriage or was gifted or inherited from one spouse's family. In these situations it is possible that the business will be determined to be separate property, however proving that commingled funds were not involved becomes a critical issue that is often difficult to prove.


When any aspect of a divorce is contested in Texas, a judge will require both parties to present evidence supporting their stances. Sufficient evidence is especially important in regards to marital assets and property division. Assets and property cannot be fairly divided if they are not all properly identified and valued. Unfortunately, there are divorce cases in which one or both parties try to hide assets, or fail to produce the required valuation, in an attempt to keep the asset for themselves. This kind of behavior is illegal, as it is essentially stealing from the other spouse. If you suspect or know that your former spouse has purposefully withheld information regarding certain assets, contact the divorce subpoena attorneys at the Clark Law Group to learn more about the legal steps you can take to force full disclosure.

Using a Subpoena in a Dallas Divorce

If your former spouse refuses to produce his or her financial documents and valuations of certain assets, a subpoena may be required. Subpoenas are used in a court of law to compel evidence from a witness or other third party. The subpoena attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Clark are experienced in dealing with contested divorces and in obtaining the evidence necessary to successfully advocate for our clients.

The discovery phase of a divorce is when evidence is submitted and reviewed so that the judge may make an informed decision. This phase typically includes the following:


'Everything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.' We are all familiar with this phrase and have heard it dozens of times in movies, in TV shows, and maybe once or twice during a routine traffic stop. However, while this phrase often evokes images of interactions between police officers and criminals, it does not immediately bring forth the image of a family court room. Yet, just as with criminal cases, what you say to your spouse while your divorce case is pending and even after it has been finalized can be used against you in property division and child custody proceedings. This is even true of text messages.

For instance, if your soon-to-be-ex-spouse admitted to spending the family money on a trip to Barbados with his mistress in a text message, that would be plenty of ammo for you to recover that lost money in your portion of the divorce settlement. However, you cannot just tell the judge,'He admitted to it in text.' You need to be able to show proof, in the form of official records. Because the judge wants to know that you did not doctor text message records, he or she will want records from the cell phone carrier itself, which you can obtain via a subpoena.

Now, it is important to bear in the mind that cell carriers generally only retain text messages for two to three days max, so if your former spouse does admit to wrongdoing in a text, you need to file for the subpoena either that very same day or the next. Secondly, thanks to the federal Stored Communications Act, most cell carriers will not release the data without first receiving consent from the cell phone subscriber. If you and your spouse still share a cell plan, that makes things exponentially easier; if you do not, you may have trouble getting the proof that you need.


' Separation' is a term that is used all the time, but what does it really mean? Sometimes clients will come to us knowing that their marriage is in trouble, and knowing that they need time apart from a spouse, but not knowing whether or not they want to pursue an actual divorce. When this happens, we present the option of a separation. Unfortunately, though a separation is not technically legally permanent, one can still be difficult to pursue, as the type of separation you choose to pursue will impact your property rights. Because of this, separating from your spouse will still require the assistance of a Dallas family law attorney.

The Four Types of Separation

Unbeknownst to most people, there are four types of separation that a couple can go through. They are:


Divorce is undoubtedly difficult, but many times, couples will make the process more difficult than it has to be. From fighting over pointless items such as the couch or TV to being unreasonable regarding child custody arrangements, many couples unnecessarily turn their divorce into an all-out war. At the Law Offices of Stephen Clark we believe in helping couples achieve a collaborative divorce. A collaborative divorce is one in which both spouses agree from the very beginning of the process to work with attorneys who will act more as 'settlement specialists' and who will do everything in their power to avoid litigation entirely.

If a collaborative divorce sounds like something that you might be interested in, contact our Dallas divorce attorneys to learn more about how we make divorce easier for our clients.

Reasons to Choose a Collaborative Divorce

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