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TX high asset divorce lawyerIn Texas, most assets acquired by a person before he or she entered into a marriage will remain in that individual’s sole possession in the event of divorce. In fact, even some assets obtained during a marriage can qualify as separate property, including gifts, inheritances, and personal injury awards. There are, however, certain situations where assets that were clearly acquired prior to marriage are actually considered by the courts to be marital property, and so, are also divisible upon divorce.

In most cases, this occurs when there is evidence of commingling, which is a term used to describe the mixing of separate assets with marital property. When this occurs, the original owner will most likely have to share the asset with his or her soon to be ex-spouse. This can be a significant financial burden, so if you are concerned about the fate of some of your own property, you should strongly consider contacting a high asset divorce lawyer who can advise you.

Did I Commingle My Assets?

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Posted on in High Asset Divorce

TX high asset divorce lawyerWhen considering divorce and the division of assets that must inevitably follow, it is important for divorcing couples to remember to account for all trusts that they have established, including those created prior to their marriage. Depending on when it was created and the types of funds and assets that it contains, a trust might completely protect one spouse’s property from division during divorce. On the other hand, the contents of a trust might still end up being divided equitably between the spouses. If you or your spouse have a trust in place and have questions about its fate in the event of divorce, you should consider consulting with a high asset divorce lawyer who can advise you.

Irrevocable Trusts

Although Texas courts have not addressed all types of trusts in relation to divorce, a number of judges have indicated that separate irrevocable trusts, when created prior to a marriage, do shield separate property from marital property. As a result, the contents of those trusts are not subject to division upon divorce. In fact, even the income from these types of trusts, even if it was earned during the marriage, will remain separate property and so also won’t be subject to division. However, this is only true if the beneficiary of the trust, whether the spouse him or herself or a third party, will not be considered to have a present possessory right to any of the assets contained in the trust. In the event that the trustor is granted a present possessory right to a portion of the trust, then the income would become marital property and would have to be divided equitably between the parties.

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TX high asset divorce lawyerAlthough ensuring that your assets are secure is one of the most important aspects of any divorce, it is especially true for those with substantial or unique property. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps that Texas residents can take to protect their assets, so if you are thinking about filing for divorce, it is critical to speak with an experienced high asset divorce lawyer who can explain your legal options.

Listing Your Assets

One of the most crucial steps that divorcing couples should take is determining which assets belong to whom. This is because Texas is an equitable distribution state, which means that only marital assets must be divided equitably upon divorce. Separate property, or assets that belong to one spouse alone, however, can remain in the sole possession of the original owner. For this reason, providing proof of when and how an asset was purchased is critical to the property division process. In fact, a spouse who can prove that he or she received a particular asset as part of a gift or an inheritance can retain that asset, even if it was obtained during the marriage.

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TX divorce lawyerCouples who live in Texas and have unique or diverse assets and are considering divorce may want to consider filing by the end of 2018, as new federal tax laws that affect alimony payments are set to go into effect next year. To learn more about filing for divorce and the effect that the new tax law could have on your own case, please contact one of our dedicated Cedar Park high asset divorce attorneys for assistance.

Current Law

Under current federal law, those who pay alimony to ex-spouses can deduct those payments when calculating their taxable income. Similarly, alimony recipients must include spousal maintenance payments when calculating their income. This has proven to be extremely helpful to taxpayers who are being taxed at a high rate based on their income. In fact, the IRS estimates that as many as 600,000 people take advantage of this deduction. However, next year, this option will no longer be available.

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TX divorce lawyerDivorce can be a financially and emotionally stressful time. This is true regardless of how much a couple’s assets are worth, especially when children are involved. However, families with unique or valuable assets do face specific issues when it comes to divorce, such as property division disputes, valuation problems, and attempts to hide assets. With this in mind, it is important for couples with business interests, complex assets, or significant financial interests to try and avoid certain pitfalls. Consulting with an experienced high asset divorce attorney can be crucial to the success of this endeavor, so if you are considering divorce and have diverse or substantial assets, you should consider contacting an experienced high asset divorce attorney for advice.

Making Emotional Decisions

One of the worst things that a divorcing couple can do is make decisions based purely on emotion. For instance, one spouse may attempt to relieve themselves of guilt for past wrongdoings by agreeing to pay more spousal support than is necessary or by giving the other party a greater share of marital property. Later, when tempers have cooled, the parties could realize that the decisions they made were not in their best interests. Unfortunately, it is often too late by this point and they will most likely be stuck with their court-ordered property settlement.

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TX divorce lawyerAlthough Bitcoin is a relatively new type of currency, it is already playing an important role in the finances of many couples. Bitcoin, which is often referred to as cryptocurrency because it has no physical form, is not controlled by any government agency but is maintained in virtual accounts. Despite these major differences between virtual and standard currency, Bitcoin can be distributed during the property division process as if it were any other asset. For help ensuring that your own virtual assets are fairly and properly divided upon divorce, please contact our high asset divorce legal team today.

What Is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is essentially a line of computer code that holds monetary value and is otherwise known as digital currency. While bitcoin can be stored offline on the owner’s computer hardware and so can be kept relatively safe, this digitization also means that it is easier for a spouse to transfer or hide them without the other spouse’s knowledge. The best way to ensure that your spouse is not hiding assets in this way is to take note of any conversions of real marital assets, like the contents of a bank account, into digital Bitcoin, which should leave a paper trail. Although it can be difficult to establish ownership of these types of assets, this is one of the most effective methods of ensuring that marital property that has been converted into digital currency will be divided appropriately.

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TX divorce lawyerDivorce can be expensive, especially for couples who have accumulated significant assets or are high wage earners. Fortunately, there are steps that divorcing parties can take to reduce their costs and increase the odds of reaching an amicable and fair settlement. To learn more about preparing for a high net worth divorce, please contact a Georgetown high asset divorce lawyer today.

Evaluating Your Financial Situation by Identifying All Marital Assets

Almost any type of property that has value can be considered an asset when it comes to dissolving a marriage, so divorcing couples should keep this in mind when listing all property and debts and include not only real estate, vehicles, and business interests, but also:

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TX divorce lawyerAlthough in many cases it is impossible for divorcing couples to work out their issues in an out of court setting, a large percentage of families are able to come to an agreement regarding custody or property division through mediation. The benefits of mediation are even more important in high asset divorces where the possession of unique assets, such as business interests, valuable personal possessions, and real estate are at issue. To learn more about mediation and whether it is right for you, please contact one of our dedicated high asset divorce lawyers today.

The Mediation Process

The mediation process is overseen by a neutral third party, or mediator, who is tasked with hearing the parties’ issues and concerns and then facilitating negotiation, with the final goal of reaching a settlement that both parties voluntarily agree to. Although the parties will prepare for mediation as though they were going to trial by compiling financial records, lists of assets, and appraisals, the similarities end here, as mediations are non-adversarial. Furthermore, unlike a trial, communications that take place during mediation will remain confidential. In fact, if a mediation fails, mediators are not allowed to testify about anything that was discussed during the meetings at trial.

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8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759