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TX divorce lawyerDuring a divorce, spouses are required to disclose detailed information about their income, assets, and debts. This ensures that both parties are able to make informed decisions during the property division process and that any settlement or court order incorporates accurate information about all known financial factors. While many divorcing spouses are careful to provide accurate and detailed financial records to each other, it is also not uncommon for one spouse to attempt to lie about assets or debts in an effort to retain the entire interest in an asset or to force a spouse to pay more than his or her fair share of a debt. This type of conduct is strictly prohibited under state law, so if you believe that your spouse is attempting to hide assets or liabilities, it is important to contact an experienced high asset divorce attorney who can ensure that your interests are protected.

Improper Disclosures

Disclosing all of one’s assets, interests, and liabilities is a complicated process, so there are actually a number of ways that a spouse can avoid telling the truth about his or her financial situation. In many cases, this involves failing to list certain assets on necessary disclosure forms or assigning improper values to property or debts. Alternatively, a party could fail to come clean about when and how he or she acquired an asset or could hide documentation that would reveal the truth about property values or ownership. In other cases, one spouse misrepresents how much the other contributes to the household, lies about how joint funds are used, or even unfairly accuses the other of stealing funds. In either case, this kind of behavior is unlawful in Texas, so spouses that are discovered violating disclosure rules could be held in contempt of court, or lose their interest in certain property.

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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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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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Texas divorce lawyerEven those who have seen their divorce coming for many years may still find themselves fearful and financially unprepared for life after divorce. Although the transition will most likely be emotional, there are ways to ensure that both parties receive their fair share of marital assets and so are not faced with financial difficulties. Doing so often requires an in-depth search of financial records, which although stressful and difficult, will help make it difficult for one spouse to hide or waste assets. Wasting, or dissipating assets is unfortunately not uncommon during high asset divorce, especially when the relationship between the parties is strained or acrimonious. For help protecting your own financial interests, please contact a member of our dedicated Leander high asset divorce legal team for advice.

What Is Asset Dissipation?

Unlike the hiding of assets, intentional dissipation involves the use of marital funds, or a marital asset, for a purpose that does not benefit the marriage. This often takes the form of buying extravagant gifts or otherwise making lavish and unnecessary purchases for the buyer’s own benefit. In fact, dissipation can even take the form of transferring property to a third party or suffering excessive gambling losses. It is also important to note that dissipation of assets is not just a continuation of typical overspending, but is waste that starts after the decision to get divorced is made.

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Posted on in Complex Divorce

Texas divorce lawyerCouples with significant or diverse assets are often required to deal with unique hurdles when going through a divorce. For this reason, many high asset couples are strongly urged to work closely not only with an experienced high asset divorce attorney, but also with a skilled financial team that can help assess the value of the couple’s property. To learn more about what kind of financial advice you may require during a high asset divorce, please call our legal team today.

Types of Financial Experts

Financial teams that assist couples who are going through a divorce often include some or all of the following individuals:

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Posted on in High Asset Divorce

Texas divoece lawyerMany couples who go through a divorce disagree on what constitutes a fair division of assets. These disagreements can become especially contentious when a couple has a significant amount of assets, or unusual non-traditional property. In these cases, the parties must be able to provide proof of the value of the assets in question to ensure that both individuals receive a fair portion. Unfortunately, this can be a difficult process for certain types of valuable assets, such as fine art, antiques, sports memorabilia, and collectibles, so retaining a high asset divorce attorney who has the resources and experience necessary to grapple with these kinds of issues is critical to the prompt and fair division of property during a divorce.

How Do I Place a Value on Unusual Assets?

Valuation is a key part of the property division process for high asset couples because the amount that each party will receive varies depending on the value of each of their assets. Unfortunately, estimating value for unusual items, such as artwork, can be difficult, as the couple may not even know its actual worth. For this reason, most high asset couples will need to work with an expert appraiser who can inspect the object and then determine how much it would go for at auction.

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Texas divorce lawyerAlthough going through a divorce usually tends to be an emotional and complex process regardless of a couple’s finances, those with significant assets are faced with unique problems. For instance, many high assets couples have multiple sources of income, including investments, stocks and bonds, and stakes in businesses, as well as a wide variety of valuable assets ranging from paintings and antiques to automobiles and real estate. In these situations, recording and inventorying all of a couple’s assets can be difficult, especially if one of the spouses is attempting to hide assets. In high asset divorces, it is much easier for a spouse to get away with this type of conduct, so if you are considering divorce and are concerned that your spouse has begun to hide assets, please contact a Round Rock high asset divorce attorney who can assess your financial situation and ensure that your interests are protected.

Distributing Assets

Texas is a community property state, which means that assets acquired by a couple during their marriage must be divided equitably upon divorce. There are a few exceptions to this rule, which apply in cases where one party received an inheritance or gift during the marriage. However, even in these situations, the parties could be required to divide the assets if they were later commingled with marital property owned by both parties. Furthermore, each party is permitted to retain sole ownership over all assets obtained prior to the marriage.

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Texas high asset divorce lawyer, Texax complex divorce attorneyA survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education found that 30 percent of spouses have been deceptive about money with their spouse, and almost 60 percent admit to hiding money from them. Considering these statistics, it is not surprising that one of the most contentious issues in a divorce is the division of assets. It is not uncommon for one spouse to try to hide assets from the other in order to avoid sharing those assets.

When couples are dissolving their marriage, they are required to provide financial affidavits to the court which reveal any assets they have. Although providing false information to the court is illegal, many spouses would rather take their chances and lie about their assets so they do not have to share them with their soon-to-be ex-spouse. If you are going through a divorce and think that your spouse is hiding assets from you, there are steps that you and your high asset divorce attorney can take in order to find those assets, including:

  • Subpoenas: Your attorney can file a subpoena to any financial institutions that your spouse banks at or your suspect he or she may have accounts at which will require they provide all financial statements and cancelled checks;
  • Forensic accountant: Unlike a traditional accountant, a forensic accountant also utilizes auditing and investigative skills to conduct an examination into an individual or company’s financial records;
  • Private investigator: A private investigator can conduct surveillance on a spouse to document any activity which may indicate hidden assets. A private investigator can also conduct a skip search which uncovers personal information on a spouse, such as credit information, utility bills, title information, and business licensing. These are all items which may indicate assets are being utilized which come for a source a spouse has not revealed.
  • The Internet: Many people do not realize just how much information is contained on the Internet. For example, if a spouse has purchased real estate as a way to hide assets, that transaction is most likely public record published on the web.

Other places that often reveal whether a spouse is hiding assets is their social media sites and Internet browsing history. Browser histories could reveal multiple visits to a bank’s website that the couple do not have funds at. Social media sites, both personal and professional, can reveal all kinds of information, such as posted photos and comments from friends and business colleagues which may reveal that a spouse has more funds than they are revealing.

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