Houston Divorce Attorney for Dentists
Divorce is complicated, emotional, and expensive. The court quantifies your relationship and career to the dollar. This can make it confusing to navigate the divorce process on your own. For dentists and their spouses, there are other things to consider as well.
How Divorce Can Affect Your Dental Practice
Typically, your occupation has very little, if any, bearing on your divorce proceedings. However, dentists are subject to long hours, high stress, and student loans, all of which can contribute to the overall divorce rate within the profession.
In divorce, your dental practice could be subject to equitable distribution. Texas is a common property state, meaning that assets are divided based on common and separate property in the event of a divorce. Even if you started your dental practice before your marriage, it could still be vulnerable to equitable distribution.
Types of Property
Property is anything bought or sold.
- Joint property is everything you and your spouse purchased or owned jointly. If accrued during your marriage, the earnings from your practice and your retirement are communal.
- Separate property is what you or your spouse owned before you were married and after you divorce. Property is also classified as separate if it was inherited or gifted to one spouse and not the other. Separate assets will not be divided in divorce, and remain under individual ownership.
Dividing a Dental Practice in Divorce
Dental practices are subject to equitable division in the event of a divorce. This means that your spouse may be entitled to any earnings and pension or retirement plans connected to the dental practice. This is true even if you established the dental practice prior to marriage. If the practice made a profit during the marriage, it will be treated as communal property in the divorce.
The most significant consideration for your dental practice is its value. This is quantified by looking at a business valuation that involves determining what aspects of your practice are considered tangible and intangible. Tangible assets are physical property like buildings or equipment. Intangible assets could be intellectual property or goodwill services. Defining goodwill is possibly the most challenging aspect of determining the value of a dental practice.
Goodwill services are intangible assets that belong to a dental or medical practice. These services are related to referral business, general reputation, or legacy. Calculating goodwill is challenging as it depends on quantifiable evidence to define the intangible property. If a practice is not dependent on the dentist’s reputation, the value of goodwill could be higher. This is because the value of the practice is solely related to the quality of the care provided.
We’re Here to Help Protect Your Dental Practice in Divorce
If you are a dentist seeking a divorce, or the spouse of a dentist looking to find out more about what you may be entitled to in a divorce, contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. Our attorneys have the experience you need. We are accredited by the Better Business Bureau, so you can be sure that we provide trusted legal counsel that you can rely on. Attorney Fagan is an elected member of the College of the State Bar of Texas, which is an honor awarded to few lawyers. Call the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, today to set up a consultation. We treat every case with the respect and care it deserves.
Visit us online to schedule an appointment or call us at (281) 810-9760 to find out more.