Lawyers with Winstead’s Business Divorce Practice Group work closely with Texas family law attorneys in marital divorce cases that involve sizable marital estates, which include ownership interests in Texas private companies and private trusts. In family law matters, Winstead lawyers assist family law counsel by helping to structure, negotiate and document the terms of a Business Divorce between the parties in the divorce proceeding in a manner designed maximize the financial outcome for all parties. To maintain the confidentiality required in many family law cases, the matters listed below do not disclose the identity of any parties.
Representative Cases – Family Law Matters
- (Commercial Real Estate) This marital estate included numerous large interests in commercial real estate projects in both Texas and other states. The couple had entered into a marital agreement during their marriage (a post-nup), which provided for a property division of the marital estate in the event of a divorce. Under the terms of this post-nup, the husband continued to retain control over the couple’s community property after the divorce became final, and this continued right of control was challenged in the parties’ settlement negotiations. Ladd Hirsch was retained to assist the client and family law counsel in negotiating a revised marital property agreement that addressed the client’s business concerns in the divorce. This new agreement provided for a long-term, structured buyout of the client’s interest in the community estate.
- (Real Estate – Undeveloped Land) The couple in this divorce matter owned several large tracts of raw, undeveloped land, and conflicts arose regarding the potential for increases in the real estate’s value based on anticipated future zoning changes. Ladd Hirsch was able to help resolve these business conflicts by working with family law counsel to negotiate a structured divorce settlement providing for payments tied to the future sale of the property under differing parameters for the sale.
- (Oil & Gas) The principal asset in this divorce was a minority interest in a private company that produced substantial amounts of raw materials used in the oil and gas industry. Based on the illiquid nature of this minority ownership interest, the couple’s divorce settlement required Ladd Hirsch to help negotiate a long-term structured payout for the non-controlling spouse. This payment structure that included both a floor and a ceiling in terms of the ultimate amount to be paid under the divorce settlement. Ladd also assisted the client in the ultimate buyout of the wife’s interest years after the original divorce settlement.
- (Private Company VA Hospitals) In this marital estate, the couple had made substantial investments in privately held companies that owned land and buildings, and which had entered into long-term lease agreements to operate these facilities as VA hospitals. In multiple mediated settlement negotiations, Ladd Hirsch worked closely with financial and tax advisors retained for the client to help structure a favorable division of the marital assets, which included analysis of issues related to this particular asset class, including various tax, real estate and financial items.
- (Collateralizing Alimony Obligation) This divorce settlement included a commitment by one spouse to provide the other with a lifetime spousal support benefit. This long-term payment obligation set forth in the decree needed to be protected by some form of collateral. In the discussion of settlement, Ladd Hirsch provided family law counsel with alternative methods for collateralizing the support obligation to permit the couple to conclude their divorce settlement on mutually acceptable terms.
- (Private Company Investments) The crux of this divorce settlement involved a division of the couple’s ownership interest in multiple minority investments that they had made in a number of private companies. The settlement was achieved by creating a new trust in which to transfer all of the private company ownership interests. One spouse was named the trustee with both spouses serving as trust beneficiaries. The trust agreement protected the ownership interest of the non-controlling spouse while allowing both spouses to benefit from the anticipated appreciation in the value of the assets held in trust.