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Diagnosing property division for medical professionals

A sector of the economy that was left relatively unscathed after the recession, healthcare employs many in the Houston area. For those who own a medical practice, however, the booming field carries a host of wide-ranging responsibilities. These obligations become even more apparent in the event of a divorce, as it forces practitioners to assess their current practice in light of changing times.

A medical practice can be affected by divorce in many ways, but property division in particular can alter a medical professional's business setup. Close to the top of any priority list should be determining if a practice is considered marital property or community property. In general, the state of Texas views marital property as property acquired by one or both spouses during the course of a marriage. There are several categories of exceptions, but overall, spouses who believe property is "separate" will need to provide convincing evidence that it doesn't fit the terms of marital property.

If a physician or other professional started a practice before they were married, that business is likely to be considered separate if it was never in the other spouse's name. Those who began a practice after marrying, though, can find that percentages of the practice's value may be subject to division by the court.

Still, the process isn't entirely black-and-white; if a professional married while still in school and had a long-lasting union, the other spouse is more likely to receive some percentage of the practice's value. On the other hand, if a doctor has only been married a short time before divorcing, or the other spouse had no supportive or financial role in the doctor's career, then the other spouse is less apt to receive much of the practice's value during divorce.

Source: Medscape, "How divorce could affect your medical practice," Dennis G. Murray, July 17, 2013

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

She will take the time to understand your individual needs and develop a comprehensive solution to protect your rights and interests.

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