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How to Plan for a High Net Worth Divorce in Texas

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

Divorces are stressful, expensive, and difficult for everyone. For high-net-worth individuals (generally considered individuals with liquid assets worth above $1M), there is an added layer of stress and difficulty.

Because so much is on the line for both parties, the steps you and your spouse take in the coming months are going to affect your emotional and financial well-being for the rest of your lives.

Most high-net-worth individuals have so many assets in addition to their income that it is difficult to even know where to begin. Add in multiple streams of income and a business or two, and you are guaranteed to have a longer-than-normal divorce.

This means you need to start getting prepared as soon as possible. It also means your spouse is likely going to do the same. Whether you are the primary source of income or not, you need to make sure you have an experienced attorney on your side to ensure you end up in a good financial position.

However, there are still some things you can do to make sure you are prepared before you even speak to an attorney.
Identify All Your Assets (And Your Spouse’s Assets)

This is the first and one of the most crucial steps of high-net-worth divorce planning. In the beginning, you probably have just a rough estimate of what your total assets and debts are — it is time to get precise.

You need to figure out exactly what assets/debts you own, your spouse owns, and that you own together. You should look into:

  • Bank account balances
  • Cash and cash equivalents (e.g. gold and silver)
  • 401(k), IRA, and pensions
  • Investment portfolios
  • Real estate
  • Mortgages
  • Vehicles/boats/planes/RVs and smaller motor vehicles (e.g. watercraft)
  • Jewelry and artwork
  • Furniture
  • Businesses and business assets (equipment, buildings, land, patents, trademarks)
  • Intellectual property
  • Credit card bills
  • Back taxes
  • Medical debts and other debts

Once all the assets are accounted for, you can start to get a sense of what will constitute community property according to the state of Texas and what you can reasonably argue is your own separate property.

Assets that constitute community property include (but are not limited to):

  • Income from employment during the marriage
  • Real estate and other purchases during the marriage
  • Growth of investment and retirement accounts that happened during the marriage
  • Balances from checking accounts regardless of whose name is on it
  • Business equity that was gained during the marriage

Some jurisdictions will take all community property and split it 50/50, right down the middle, for each spouse. However, in Texas, judges are allowed to use more discretion and separate community property in an equitable way that accounts for each individual’s needs.

If you have been married for a while, the division of assets becomes increasingly difficult to parse out. This is one of the reasons you need a good attorney with experience planning for a high-net-worth divorce —they will understand how your assets are likely to be divided by a judge, including rarer assets, like planes and artwork, that most divorces do not involve.

Over time, most pre-marriage assets, such as retirement accounts, savings, and investment portfolios, will become commingled. You may have received assets during the marriage that are not considered community property, like an inheritance, that were later commingled, which can further complicate what is and is not going to be divided up by a judge.

Figuring out what is what may involve hiring appraisers to get precise value estimates and forensic accountants to get the full-scale picture of what is rightfully yours and what will be considered community property.

This portion of the divorce is going to take much longer than in a standard divorce and will cost more than in a standard divorce as you are having to pay for an attorney to do additional work on top of paying these professionals. You may also have to bring in other professionals, like estate-planning experts, corporate attorneys, real estate professionals, business valuation experts, and more.
What You Can and Cannot Do With Your Assets

It is a bad idea to sell, transfer, or otherwise make changes to your property during a divorce. It may be tempting to move or sell assets, but doing this would reflect badly on you and can ultimately result in an unfavorable judgment.

Most states will prohibit these actions after a divorce has been filed, but even if they occur suspiciously close to divorce filings, that could still be enough for a judge to nullify any asset movement and put them back in the realm of community property.

One thing you can do is liquidate some assets in order to create enough cash to carry you through the divorce.

That does not mean you will get to keep all of it or that it is in any way protected from being considered community property, but ensuring that you have enough money on hand to pay for attorneys, rent, mortgages, and other debts during this time will ease a lot of stress. You just need to be transparent about it.
Child Custody in High Net Worth Divorces

For most people, it would be unthinkable to use children to leverage a spouse for financial gain. Unfortunately, during high-asset divorces, it is not uncommon to see this done.

Agreeing to custody terms should be one of the first things done after a divorce is filed. The longer you wait to come up with a legally binding agreement, the higher the chance that your children can be used against you later on when the issue of asset division is at hand.

Even though you may want to move out as soon as possible, for both financial and emotional reasons, doing so without a binding custody agreement could end up backfiring since opposing counsel can frame this as you not being serious about raising your children (and some judges might agree).

If your spouse is being stubborn and will not agree to fair terms, you can file a request to get a temporary custody order in place.
Get a Good Idea of Your Actual Income

High-net-worth individuals generally have multiple sources of income, and those sources of income may be quite variable from one month or year to the next.

For example, if you own several businesses, and some of those businesses are seasonal, you may earn the majority of your income in only a few months each year. Profit distribution needs to be taken into account, including when and how that occurs.

For C-suite individuals and other executive positions, the majority of income may be in the form of a bonus, stock options, or commissions. Many executives also have other forms of untaxed “income,” like car or expense allowances.

If you run your own business, you might use your business to pay some personal expenses, which may be considered income by some judges.

Most high-net-worth individuals have some form of passive income, including:

  • Interest from investments
  • Income from rental properties
  • Royalties from intellectual property

This must also be taken into account during a high-net-worth divorce.
Contact Our Texas Divorce Attorneys 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.

If you need help with a family law matter like divorce, Jared Julian can help — he has

been helping families for more than a decade and is also a licensed mediator.

This makes him a professional in settling family disputes. As an experienced family

mediator, he listens to both sides and makes an informed decision that is in the best

interests of all parties.

Mr. Julian and his team of experienced family law attorneys are available for a consult.

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.

Contact us today


Contact Us

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.