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Retirement and Investment Asset Protection

At JulianJohnson, P.C., we pride ourselves on our ability to resolve difficult family law matters with genuine care and integrity.

Crafting the proper retirement and investment strategy is one of the most important financial decisions you will ever make and is the key to securing the future you have worked so hard for.

However, simply the right savings vehicle is not sufficient — you need to make sure your money is safe.

Life is unpredictable. Anyone with considerable assets to their name needs to protect themselves in cases of frivolous lawsuits, accidents, business liability claims, bankruptcy, divorce, and more.

Here are a number of different dangers your financial accounts face and the best ways to protect them.
Protection from Creditors and Lawsuits

If you are at risk of creditors coming after your assets, then there are a couple of things you can do to protect your assets from a person or institution that may be making claims.

Even if there is no single bulletproof action that can fully protect your assets, setting up just a few legal roadblocks between them and your money can potentially save you millions.
Transfer Assets

Creditors and most litigators are not able to seize assets that you do not legally own. That is why transferring money or property to a trusted third party is an incredibly simple and valuable tool in asset protection.

There are a number of ways to execute this, but it can be as simple as creating an unbreakable trust in the name of a spouse, a child, or another relative.
How to Use Domestic Asset Protection Trusts in Texas

DAPTs are a specific type of irrevocable trust where the settlor is the sole beneficiary of the assets within it. When done correctly, this offers a high level of protection against creditors coming for your assets.

Texas does not have any DAPT laws, which means this type of trust cannot be set up in Texas. However, there are a number of states with more favorable asset protection laws where these can be created.

This will inevitably raise the question of which state laws will apply to the assets if the trust is in one state and the beneficiary/settlor is in another. And while there is no clear-cut answer to this, there are a few factors that can shift the scales in one direction or another.

For courts to rule in favor of respecting the state laws that the trust is in, the settlor needs to have more connections to the state than just the asset protection trust.

“Connection” in this instance means things like family, property, LLCs, etc. By building these connections to states you would like your trust to be in, or creating DAPTs in states where you already have those connections, you will ensure that your trust does what it is meant to do.
Texas Legacy Trust

While Texas does not have any DAPT laws, the Texas legacy trust offers similar, albeit slightly lesser, protections.

Texas legacy trusts are irrevocable and can shield assets from past creditors but do little to protect against any current or unexpected creditors.

The main features of this trust are that the settlor can be the beneficiary, just like a domestic asset protection trust (note that these are not available in Texas), and it can have family members such as children or spouses as the trustee.
Offshore Asset Protection

Up until 1997 when states started creating new trust legislation to compete with offshore accounts, offshore holdings were the only effective way to create self-settled protection trusts.

There are a number of similarities between offshore and stateside protection trusts, mainly in how the trusts themselves operate.

Offshore protection trusts will need independent trustees and spendthrift protections, and they will only disburse assets at the direction of the trustee, just like they do in the US.

What makes offshore trusts much more enticing is that they offer protections against creditors that are much more thorough.

Some of the ways they will keep creditors at bay are by enacting laws that require creditors to hire attorneys from the country the trust is in or even demand large bonds of $25,000 or more just to bring the suit to court.
Umbrella Insurance

An umbrella insurance policy is a type of insurance that picks up where all your other insurance policies fall short.

For instance, most car insurance coverages will protect you only up until a certain amount of damages for bodily harm. It could be $30,000 or it could be $300,000, but at a certain point, the insurance will stop and you will be liable.

The same thing is true for home and health insurance. There will be caps, and if a claim ever exceeds that cap, payments will fall to you. Paying for additional insurance to cover these gaps can ensure your assets are protected in case of the unexpected.
Protection from Identity Theft

Most banks have strong protections against electronic theft, but it is imperative that you create protocols where you are both notified quickly and can act quickly. Setting up fraud alerts that go directly to your devices can help you catch fraud as it is happening.

It is better to have an overprotective fraud alert system than an under protective one. It only takes a few short days before the bank’s insurance refuses to refund the stolen money. The sooner you report the money stolen, the better.
Protection from Market Volatility

Annuities are insurance contracts that will pay out fixed amounts from your investment portfolio. These are usually set up in a way that ensures the holder will not outlive their assets

The most protective of these are called variable annuities, which allow for payouts to change based on the health of the market and their portfolio. They provide a lot of volatility in terms of individual payments, but over time allow for the most security since it is adaptable.
Other Protections

There are a number of other ways to keep your assets away from creditors.

For example, 401(k) plans, pensions, and other employer-sponsored, qualified retirement plans are protected from bankruptcy. Traditional and Roth IRAs also are protected for a little over $1.5M (as of 2022) in case of bankruptcy.

Texas also protects your “homestead” in the case of bankruptcy through a law designed to keep you or your family from becoming homeless — however, there are some restrictions about what counts as a “homestead.”

Other types of protections — accounts-receivable financing, stripped-out equity, family limited partnerships — are also available. Each financial situation is unique, so it is up to you to find the one that suits your needs and allows you to strike the right balance between protection and liquidity. You will need to talk to an experienced attorney about all these options to ensure they are set up appropriately and are as airtight as possible.
Contact Our Texas Divorce Attorney for Advice Today

The Julian Firm offers personal attention to people in need of family law attorneys in Flower Mound, TX and the surrounding cities.

Our firm works to help address even the most complex family cases including high net worth divorces and similar cases with complex assets.

Our team of experienced family law attorneys are available for a consult. Contact us today.

When faced with a heated situation such as the dissolution of a marriage, call a lawyer with compassion, knowledge, and experience with the legal system.


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Connor K. Suggs

Associate Attorney


Connor K. Suggs is an attorney at JulianJohnson, P.C. focusing on all areas of family law including divorce, child custody, and protective orders. His compassionate approach to sensitive situations and his ability to relate to people ensures that clients receive both personalized and effective representation.

Mr. Suggs graduated from Boise State University in 2019 with a Political Science major and a minor in Business. He then went on to graduate from the University of Houston Law Center in 2022 and passed the Bar Exam in February of 2023. While studying in Houston, he participated in the innocence investigations clinic (Texas Innocence Network) investigating wrongful convictions. Connor also interned at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and participated in court proceedings, interviews with victim’s advocates, and assisted with trial preparations under a law student temporary trial card.

Connor married his wife Mary in 2022 and they reside in Lewisville along with their two cats, Whiskey and Cola. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, trying new foods, and the great outdoors.

Jennifer R. Else

Associate Attorney and Mediator



Jennifer has been practicing law for 18 years, the vast majority of which has been focused on Family Law. She has had the honor of walking with clients through some of their darkest hours, providing zealous and compassionate representation and support. Jennifer is a skilled litigator and a keen negotiator with a particular talent for diffusing high conflict situations, developing creative solutions, and ensuring realistic expectations. Jennifer believes that one of the keys to good attorney-client relationships is to treat all parties with respect and dignity while fiercely advocating for her client’s rights. While the first decade-plus of her career has been in the trenches of litigating these family law cases, she is currently making a shift towards serving as a mediator.


Jennifer was born and raised in Minnesota, but made it to Texas as Jennifer graduated cum laude with her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University (Minnesota) in 1997. She worked in a variety of industries after college, including managing residential homes for adults with developmental disabilities, and as an operations coordinator for Regis Corporation, which owned and operated many lines of hair salons nationwide.

She made her first escape to Texas and attended The University of Texas School of Law, graduating with honors in 2005. While she returned to Minnesota for a stint, where she clerked for a district court judge and ran her own practice, she has been happily back in Flower Mound, Texas since 2014. When she’s not working, Jennifer can be found hanging out with her husband, two teenagers, and three rescue dogs.

Chad R. Neal

Associate Attorney


Chad R. Neal is an attorney who has extensive knowledge in complex property division and brings 24 years of experience to the firm. His practice focuses on all areas of family law including divorce, protective orders, and spousal agreements. Mr. Neal has practiced labor and employment law in federal court, and has a thorough understanding regarding business law, mergers and acquisitions, and commercial litigation. He is licensed in Texas and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Mr. Neal completed his undergraduate degree at Texas Tech University and law school at Texas Tech University School of Law. During his time at Texas Tech, he competed in Team Moot Court Negotiations where he advanced the team to compete at the national level.

When Chad is not practicing law, he can be found spending time with his wife of 27 years and his three daughters ages 23, 19 and 17. He enjoys all sports but particularly football, basketball and golf.




Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has been a paralegal for twelve years. From preparing and filing legal documents, to communicating and strategizing with the attorneys, Rodney plays an active role from beginning to end in all assigned matters. His goal each day when entering the office is to assist the attorneys as each case progresses and make simple for clients what is otherwise a complicated process.

When not at the office, Rodney is likely spending time with his nieces and nephews, road biking, or reading a good book.

Emily Hale



Emily Hale has been a family law paralegal since October 2019. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor’s degree and specialized certificates in Legal Studies, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation training. Shortly after graduating, she completed the Collin College Paralegal Certificate program.

As a child of divorce, Emily is passionate about supporting those going through family matters. She strives to meet the individual needs of each case while also understanding every client’s need for communication, transparency, and protection.

Emily is a native Texan who settled with her family in Denton. As a mother to a preschooler and a new homeowner, she’s always busy with something. To unwind, she loves taking Pilates classes and exploring state parks with her family.




Ms. Patel began working as a family law paralegal in 2004. She graduated from North Central Texas College in Corinth, Texas in 2004 and received her Paralegal Certificate from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas in 2005. Her passion for family law began after a custody case of her own, so she has a deep understanding of what clients are going through from her own personal experiences.

Ms. Patel grew up in Denton County and has two wonderful kids: Alyssa and Paxton. She is also a dog mom to three fur babies: Blue, a Lab/Pit mix and Sofie and Bella, Pomeranians.

In her free time, she enjoys traveling and experiencing different cultures. She is a foodie and enjoys trying new restaurants.


Senior Paralegal


Jennifer Cline is the senior paralegal at JulianJohnson, P.C. Mrs. Cline has been Mr. Julian’s paralegal since 2011. She is a 2005 graduate of Lamar State College – Port Arthur in Legal Assistant studies where she graduated with honors. She was the president of the Legal Assistant Student Organization. Her legal career began when she interned as a paralegal in 2004 at Germer Gertz, in Beaumont, Texas. In 2008 she started working at Morian Kahla Law in Jasper, Texas. After moving to the DFW area in 2011, she joined Mr. Julian and began working exclusively in family law at the then Julian, Crowder and Shuster, PC and now JulianJohnson, P.C. Mrs. Cline wears many hats here at JulianJohnson, P.C.; senior paralegal, firm administrator, but her favorite role is when Mr. Julian refers to her as “boss lady.” In 2019, she became a Board Certified Paralegal – Texas Board of Legal Specialization and in 2021 she earned her Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies from Texas Wesleyan University. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas – Paralegal Division and Denton County Paralegal Association.

Mrs. Cline is a zealous advocate for our clients. Her own life experiences and circumstances have taught her some hardcore lessons and it is where her passion for family law stems; she’s lived it, survived and she is passionate about helping others through it.

Jennifer moved to the DFW area after meeting and marrying her husband, Billy Cline. They have three sons: Brian, who is married to his wife, Grace, Brandon and Grant. Her husband owns and operates, a residential door company that serves the DFW metroplex.

Jennifer calls her hobbies “therapy” and they include woodworking, building and painting furniture, and other crafts.


Business Manager


Andrea is the Business Manager at JulianJohnson, P.C. and is passionate about working on behalf of families and children. Before joining JulianJohnson, she worked on a government contract that partnered Head Start and childcare programs together to provide services for children. She then went on to work in adoption and assisted in placing over 1,200 international children with loving families here in the United States.

She graduated with honors in 2000 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VA Tech) with a degree in Family and Child Development. Then she went on to receive her MBA with an emphasis in Human Resources, graduating with honors in 2023 from Texas Woman’s University.

Originally from the Washington, DC area she arrived in Texas as quickly as she could. She is the mom of two incredible boys, Logan and Shane. When not in the office she can be found on the soccer or baseball field supporting her children, hiking the great outdoors, or reading a book in a hammock.

William E. Johnson

Managing Shareholder of Litigation
Attorney and Mediator


William E. Johnson is a board-certified attorney. He is board certified in both Child Welfare Law and Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. His practice primarily focuses on all matters in family law including dissolution of marriage, complex property division, high-net worth divorces, child custody, possession and access, protective orders for family violence, stalking and harassment, adoption, pre-marital agreements, post-marital agreements, child welfare, mediation, and CPS cases. He specializes in matters of custody, possession and access, adjudication of paternity, termination of parental rights, grandparent interventions, non-parent interventions, CPS investigation defense, CPS cases, cases involving abuse or neglect of a child, and cases involving child welfare. His practice also includes probate, wills, and criminal defense.
History and Experience in Family Law

William began his career as an Assistant District Attorney. During his time as a prosecutor, William prosecuted criminal, mental health, and CPS cases. William spent the majority of his tenure as a prosecutor prosecuting CPS cases to protect the most vulnerable in our society. William quickly rose through the ranks of the Denton County District Attorney’s Office and became one the youngest family law attorneys to ever hold that position in the office. Before William left the DA’s Office, William was one of the few specialty court prosecutors in the office. He was a specialty prosecutor in Denton County’s Family Drug Court Program. William tried hundreds of trials and contested hearings during his time as a prosecutor. William’s experience in the courtroom, and knowledge of not only the law, but also the “legal climate,” is unparalleled amongst his peers.

It is William’s goal to achieve a result for his client that not only protects their interests in the “now,” but also protects their interests in the future. He works tirelessly for his clients and prefers reaching agreements to avoid needless legal fees; however, he will not hesitate to set the case for trial if the opposing counsel is unreasonable or uncompromising.

William has garnered an excellent reputation in Denton County and has been invited to speak at seminars concerning CPS and child custody issues.

William is from Dallas, Texas and currently lives in Denton. William is married to his beautiful wife Cari. William and Cari are proud parents of their wacky, yet lovable, goldendoodles “Curry” and “Archie.” If he is not in the courtroom or in the office, William is either spending time with his family or continuing his never-ending quest the find either the best BBQ or best fried chicken sandwich in Texas.

Jared W. Julian

CEO and Managing Shareholder of Operations
Mediator and Attorney


Jared W. Julian is the founder and President of JulianJohnson, P.C. He is recognized as a Family Law expert in the State of Texas and he is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Less than one percent of all Texas law attorneys are board certified in Family Law. Mr. Julian is also rated as “Super Lawyer,” a distinction limited to 5 percent of all Texas attorneys

Mr. Julian grew up in Plano, Texas. He is a 2001 graduate of Texas A&M School of Law (then Texas Wesleyan). He received his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice in 2006 after attending Sam Houston University and Texas A&M. He became a licensed Texas Peace Officer before deciding to go to law school. Mr. Julian has extensive litigation experience. Prior to founding JulianJohnson, P.C., he was the managing partner at Julian, Crowder and Shuster, P.C. and a partner in McCracken, Taylor and Julian, P.C. prior to that.

While in law school, Mr. Julian was an associate editor of the school’s law review (top 10% of class) and also served on the Student Bar Association Board of Directors and as Student Bar Association President.

For over 20 years, Mr. Julian’s practice has focused on family law and has handled well over a thousand cases. He has handled extremely high net-worth divorces, highly contested custody disputes and C.P.S. termination cases, but also counsels his clients through more amicable cases often resolved through settlement. Mr. Julian is a highly sought-after mediator with a successful mediation resolution rate over 95%.

Mr. Julian lives in Flower Mound, Texas with his wife, Stephanie, and two sons, Dax and Sawyer. His hobbies include playing guitar, hunting and enjoying family and friends.

Areas of Practice:
Family Law
Alimony & Spousal Support
Child Support
Children’s Rights
Collaborative Law
Custody & Visitation
Domestic Violence & Neglect
Juvenile Law
Prenuptial Agreements.