Practice
Area

Media

Texas Divorce Attorneys for Accountants

Texas Divorce Attorneys for Accountants

Accountants and Divorce: Key Considerations

Accountants are certainly no strangers to divorce. Indeed, the professional advice of a trusted accountant is often an important voice during the divorce process. But sometimes accountants find themselves as a party to divorce. When accountants get divorced, they oftentimes need to consider certain issues that others may not need to think about. This is why contacting an experienced divorce lawyer is essential.

Below are two potentially relevant special considerations for when accountants and their spouses get divorced.

The Accountancy

Texas courts generally employ a simple 50/50 split when it comes to property division. While this method works well for spouses who work as employees of companies, it leaves room for some complications when one or both spouses owns a business or has a professional practice.

As many accountants are likely aware, before any property division can take place, the value of the business or practice must be determined. This is achieved through an appraisal of the business’s assets and liabilities. Everything from the chairs and computers to the office’s lease and outstanding bills will be examined. But when determining the value of a professional practice, appraisers will also look to the goodwill of the practice.

Goodwill is basically the reputation of the practice (enterprise goodwill) or professional (personal goodwill). Where goodwill exists separate and apart from the accountant’s personal skills or ability, reputation is divisible on divorce. This means that if there is goodwill belonging to the practice or accountancy firm, then that goodwill will be subject to the property division. For example, a CPA held an ownership stake in a local accountancy firm. All of the firm’s clients cited the firm’s reputation as the principal reason for retaining the accountancy. A court ruled that because it was the firm’s goodwill and not the partner’s personal goodwill that drove client acquisition and retention, the value of her ownership interest in the accountancy must include the firm’s enterprise goodwill and must be subject to the property division.

Once the firm’s goodwill, if any, has been valued, the question of firm ownership must be addressed. The Texas Administrative Code strictly regulates the practice of accounting in the state. Included in those regulations are limitations on the ownership of accounting firms. Though non-CPA individuals are permitted to have ownership interests in accounting firms, courts are more likely to award a money judgment to the non-CPA spouse, secured by the firm and its assets.

Personal Finance

Many accountants find success in their careers. Fortunately, this often includes financial success. The attention to detail and careful planning needed to build and manage a successful accounting practice often translates to financially sophisticated marital estates. The assets owned by accountants can be diverse and numerous. It’s not uncommon for an accountant’s marital estate to include real estate, retirement accounts, various certificates of deposit, trusts, and shares of investment funds. While diversified portfolios are an excellent method of reducing risk, it can also add complexity to the property identification and characterization phase of a divorce case in which the spouses’ property is determined to be the marital estate’s community or one of the spouse’s separate property. (Please feel free to review our brief primer on community and separate property.) This added complexity highlights the importance of an experienced family lawyer who can reduce costs, save time, and provide valuable peace of mind.

If you have questions regarding special considerations when divorcing as an accountant or divorcing as an accountant’s spouse in Texas, contact Kirker│Davis LLP to schedule a meeting with one of our lawyers today.

Request Consultation

    Empowering Clients.

    Achieving Results. ®

    TESTIMONIALS

    • "The divorce process is not an easy one, but I always felt fully supported, informed, and guided by Chris and the staff. Chris always laid out the options, made me aware of the risks, and provided me with recommendations, but he also gave me the flexibility to work out things with my ex where I could, to speed up the process and avoid some legal expenses. I highly recommend Chris for family law representation. ”

      David - Divorce Representation

    • "I’m a lawyer myself and Holly helped me with my recent divorce. She did an amazing job. She covered all the little issues that would have collectively cost me a bunch of money in the long run if she had not been so detail-oriented and focused. She is a tenacious advocate for her clients who aims to resolve matters amicably but will fight tooth-and-nail for her clients if that is what it takes to reach a...”

      Anonymous - Holly is the lawyer who lawyers hire for their own divorces

    • "Chris handled my case professionally, efficiently, and demonstrated a very strong knowledge of family law. Chris took the time to learn and understand all aspects of my situation and used that knowledge to develop a focused strategy that led to a successful outcome. I highly recommend Chris. ”

      Martin - Excellent Lawyer

    • "Ashley Morgan and her paralegal Aleks were both so amazing to work with. They were second to none in responsiveness and work ethic. I would recommend her work to anyone looking for family law, and could not be happier with my decision to work with them. Just a great group of people who are knowledgeable and passionate about the work they do. ”

      Josh Campbell - Family Law

    • "This was as good an experience as you can possibly have with a divorce situation! Candice and Laurie were professional yet compassionate. They treated me with great respect and were always available to answer my questions. The best part is they always had my best interest at heart. I would highly recommend Kirker Davis and Candice Derelye and Laurie Theriot. They are the best! ”

      Susan Morris - A divorce situation

    • "This was my first time ever working with lawyers and words cannot express how grateful I am for Ashley Morgan and her team. I needed direction during a difficult time and she provided step by step service. Would highly recommend! ”

      Erik Jurado - Highly recommended

    • "I praise Attorney Alyse Donnelly for all the hard work and hours she put in my divorce case. I believe that her experience, knowledge, and quick thinking resulted in beneficial results on my behalf. Ms. Donnelly along with Paralegal Stacy O’Brien and Attorney Michelle Fontenot are definitely assets to the Kirker Davis law firm. ”

      Bertha Solis - My divorce case

    • "My experience with Kirker Davis has been amazing. Candice Deyerle has been my attorney and in just under a month she helped to correct severe deficiencies in my custody case. She and her team respond within minutes or hours to even the most mundane requests. From the moment I walked in the office, I was greeted with an exceptional level of service, and even the receptionist inspires class and confidence. I wh...”

      Daniel Kearns - Custody case

    • "From my first visit, I felt like Candice listened to every word I said and showed concern about my pending situation. My ongoing experiences throughout our working together, made me feel like they were genuinely concerned about me and my integrity. If I wandered off course, Candice would guide me back online! Fantastic results! ”

      Edward Novess - Fantastic results

    Austin Family Attorneys

    Is Divorce Imminent

    Download “The 4 Steps In Every Divorce” eBook so you can be better prepared

    Download Now

    Austin Family Attorneys

    Request Consultation

    A strategic step towards resolution

    Submit a Request
    • Austin Office