On behalf of The Rachel Firm posted in Family Law on Wednesday, July 30, 2014.
When wealthy Texas couples divorce, they face many of the same issues as any other divorcing couple. The division of assets in a high net worth divorce can be much more complicated, however. When a couple owns multiple homes and has extensive investments, valuing and dividing it all up can take a lot of work and lead to some bitter disputes.
Recently, filmmaker Michael Moore and his wife finalized their divorce in Michigan state court. The couple was married for 22 years. Despite his public image as a champion of the common person, court documents and news reports reveal that Moore and his wife are anything but, at least financially speaking. The couple reportedly has a net worth of about $50 million, mostly earned from the proceeds of Moore’s documentaries which include “Roger & Me” and “Bowling for Columbine.” Moore’s wife co-produced some of his earlier films.
The couple owned nine properties, including a $2 million mansion in Michigan and a condo in New York City that used to be three apartments. The Michigan property was apparently a bone of contention between the two; Moore suggested in court filings that his wife had spent too lavishly on the home. In the end, the pair was able to reach an amicable settlement.
When Texas couples divorce, the division of assets is subject to the state’s community property laws. Assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage are considered community property and must be divided in a manner that is fair under the circumstances. With real estate, this usually means the property must be appraised to determine its present value. It can then either be sold and the proceeds split, or one party can keep the property with the other getting a corresponding increase in their share of the property division.
Getting one’s fair share in divorce is not always a simple matter. A spouse in a high-income marriage who is contemplating divorce can benefit from consulting a family law attorney with experience in sophisticated asset valuation issues.
Source: Daily Mail, “Michael Moore’s lavish property empire is revealed in court documents as he and wife of 22 years divorce,” July 24, 2014