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TX divorce lawyerWhen considering divorce, many couples go into the property settlement process with the expectation that they will be required to parcel out certain personal possessions, decide who will retain the family home, and divide up the contents of any bank accounts. However, this task becomes much more difficult for couples with unique or costly assets, such as fine artwork, which can be difficult to appraise. Fortunately, the advent of digital valuation tools has made this process simpler, although divorcing couples are still encouraged to obtain an in-person appraisal from an expert before going forward with the property division process. To learn more about the different methods of asset appraisal available to you, please contact an experienced high asset divorce attorney who can advise you.

Appraisal Factors

Appraising fine art tends to be difficult, as it can actually have a number of monetary values. These values are determined primarily by assessing the market in which the work was sold or is to be offered for sale, which includes galleries, auctions, and art fairs. Appraisers then evaluate the data derived from sales of comparable items in similar galleries to determine a rough approximation of a piece’s value.

When selecting artwork with which to compare a piece, appraisers consider a variety of factors, including:

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TX high asset divorce lawyerIn Texas, assets acquired during a marriage are subject to equitable division upon divorce. Whether a couple is able to reach a divorce settlement on their own in an out-of-court setting, or a court orders property division after the parties’ litigate the issue, a divorce will only be officially granted when an arrangement has been reached. In most divorce cases, all property-related issues are resolved by the time the court issues a divorce decree. However, it is also not uncommon for one party to discover, after a divorce has already been finalized, that his or her former spouse was hiding assets in an effort to retain sole possession. Concealing assets during divorce is unlawful, so parties who determine that they were unfairly denied an equitable portion of a specific asset can ask the court to step in and distribute the previously undivided property. This can be a difficult endeavor, so if you recently discovered that your former spouse was hiding assets during your divorce proceedings, it is critical to contact an experienced high asset divorce attorney who can help you collect your rightful share of your marital property.

Dividing Assets

During divorce proceedings, courts require couples to provide evidence of all of their different assets, including titles, deeds, bank statements, and receipts for collectibles like artwork or antiques. Providing this documentation helps give courts a good idea of each party’s financial holdings, which in turn, enables them to fairly and justly divide those assets between the parties. Obviously, a fair distribution of marital assets isn’t possible if one of the parties, or the court, is unaware that certain property exists. For this reason, when a party later learns that a former spouse was concealing assets, courts allow them to file a new lawsuit requesting distribution of the remaining undivided property.

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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 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 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 lawyerHigh asset divorces are not only complicated because the property that must be divided is valuable, but also because the assets are often difficult to value or to distribute. For instance, it is not uncommon for Texas couples to invest in local operations that are involved in the production of oil, gas, and minerals. While these investments can be extremely valuable, they are also hard to distribute in the event that a couple decides to divorce. If you or your spouse own an interest in an oil, gas, or mineral business and are thinking about dissolving your marriage, you may be facing unique issues when it comes to dividing your assets. Please contact an experienced Cedar Park high asset divorce attorney to learn more about your legal options.

Dividing Assets Equitably

Texas is a community property state, which means that all of a couple’s marital assets must be divided equitably upon divorce. While this usually involves dividing bank account funds, the family home, and retirement funds, it applies equally to unique assets, such as oil, gas, and mineral interests. These types of interests are considered real property and as such, are governed by the same property division principles as any other type of real estate. For this reason, a party can only retain sole ownership of this type of interest, if he or she can prove that the asset qualifies as separate property, which means that he or she:

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Texas divorce lawyerMany couples who get divorced are able to agree on who will retain what property. However, the more unusual assets and collectibles a couple has, the harder it becomes to appraise them and determine who should retain ownership, especially when an item has an extremely high value or has a special meaning to one of the spouses. While this could include jewelry, as well as antiques, more and more families are investing in artwork, which means that in most cases, if the couple divorces, the property will need to be divided equitably.

Appraisals and proof of purchase are critical to the outcome of these types of conflict, as courts consider property obtained prior to a marriage to be the sole property of the original owner. Even when a piece of art was purchased after divorce, one party could have a strong claim to it if it was given as a gift or was part of an inheritance. Because dividing unusual assets, such as artwork, is so difficult, retaining an experienced high asset divorce attorney is critical to ensuring that all of a couple’s property is fairly and promptly divided upon divorce.

Preparatory Steps

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