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TX divorce lawyerAlthough prenuptial agreements are not something that business owners typically think about when they become romantically involved with another person, the reality is that making these types of considerations is extremely important for those who are considering marriage. Entering into this type of contract before a marriage takes place can give both parties peace of mind, while also ensuring that a company’s assets are protected in the event of divorce. For help drafting or enforcing your own prenuptial agreement, please contact an experienced high asset divorce attorney who can assist you.

Owning a Business Prior to Marriage

If a person owns a business going into a marriage, then those assets will most likely fall under the category of separate property in the event of divorce. However, any growth in value and earnings stemming from the business can and probably will be considered community property, which means that if a couple decides to divorce, the original business owner would need to split those earnings down the middle. Furthermore, if the spouse who didn’t originally own the business ended up substantially contributing to it during the marriage, then that business interest could be considered commingled with the couple’s community property and so converted into marital property for the purpose of division upon divorce.

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TX divorce lawyerAll Texas divorces must be conducted in compliance with state law. However, this doesn’t mean that all divorces are the same. High asset divorces, in particular, come with unique issues. For this reason, it is especially important for those with significant, unique, or diverse assets who have decided to dissolve their marriages, to retain an experienced high asset divorce attorney who is well-versed in these issues and can ensure that their interests and rights are protected.

Financial Complication

One of the most difficult parts of the divorce process is deciding how assets will be divided. This is especially true for those with significant assets who don’t have a prenuptial agreement, as the process of identifying, appraising, and attempting to divide property is much more complex. In these cases, it is not uncommon for couples to have rare or unique property, such as real estate, antiques, artwork, and jewelry, that is both difficult to appraise and divide. It is also much easier in these situations for one spouse to try to hide specific assets, which is both unlawful and could result in an unfair property settlement agreement.

Emotional Implications

Even when a couple has an amicable relationship, going through a divorce is stressful. In many cases, these high emotions are only fueled in high asset divorces, as there is simply more to fight over. It’s also not uncommon for one spouse to have more knowledge of finances and property ownership, in which case, the other party could end up with an unfair settlement if the more financially knowledgeable spouse failed to disclose the ownership of certain property. This, in turn, can make the divorce process even more emotional for the wronged party.

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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 proceedings can be time-consuming and emotional, so many couples breathe a sigh of relief when they are able to successfully negotiate a settlement out of court. Unfortunately, just because parties have agreed to a settlement, does not mean that the other party will comply with its terms. This is especially true in cases where a settlement is the result of a court order and not negotiations between the parties. A failure to abide by a settlement agreement can have devastating consequences, particularly when high assets are involved, as one party’s intransigence could lead to significant assets being tied up and made inaccessible for years. This, in turn, can make it difficult to make ends meet, pay bills, and generally, move on with your life, so if your former spouse is defying all or part of your divorce settlement agreement, it is critical to speak with an experienced high asset divorce attorney who can help ensure that the terms of your agreement are respected.

The Terms of a High Asset Divorce Settlement

While some former spouses may refuse to comply with a court order out of bitterness, most are simply unable to do so. This is especially common when it comes to a failure to pay child support or alimony and the non-paying party was recently let go or fired from his or her job. Alternatively, a party could be failing to comply with a custody order because his or her work schedule conflicts with that arrangement, or because he or she is struggling with health issues. Whatever the reason, in these cases, it is up to that party to seek a modification of the order. Otherwise, they will be subject to the legal repercussions of failing to comply with the terms of a court order.

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Posted on in Complex Divorce

Texas family lawyerWhen a divorce is finalized, the court sets the terms of child support, spousal maintenance, and visitation. Although these terms are generally deemed final, there are situations where courts are willing to modify a divorce decree. If you believe that your child custody arrangement or support agreement should be modified, it is important to contact a high asset divorce lawyer who can help you modify your divorce decree.

Mutual Agreement

One of the easiest ways to modify an order related to child custody, child support, or alimony is by mutual agreement. In these cases, both parties file a petition with the court that contains the agreed upon changes. As long as those changes are in the best interests of the couple’s children and the judge approves them, the previous divorce decree can be altered, usually without any hearings or trials.

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Texas divorce attorneyWhile many people think that the property division process during divorce only involves splitting up assets, such as bank accounts, the family home, or personal property, the reality is that those who are going through a divorce must also divide debt. Like assets, debts are divided based on their status as either community property or separate property, as well as a number of other factors, making it especially important for the divorcing parties to have a firm understanding of the origins of their debts. To ensure that you aren’t saddled with debt that is your spouse’s responsibility, please contact a high asset divorce attorney who has the resources and experience necessary to help you reach a fair settlement.

Marital Debt

Although it is true that debts incurred by one spouse during a marriage are generally presumed to be community property debt, which means that they must be divided equitably upon divorce, Texas law also takes other factors into account when dividing debts. For example, debts incurred during marriage could end up being the responsibility of one spouse if he or she solely incurred the debt. If, for instance, one spouse took out a credit card in his name during his marriage, he will most likely be held solely responsible for that debt, but only if the debt was used to purchase items from which only he benefitted. If, on the other hand, the debt was used to buy necessities, then the debt holder’s spouse becomes indirectly responsible for them, regardless of whether his or her name is actually attached to the debt. What qualifies as a “necessary” depends on the specific circumstances of a case, although at a minimum, necessaries include the following:

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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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Posted on in High Asset Divorce

Texas collaborative law, Texas high asset divorce attorneyAs the negative effects of acrimonious divorces on families become better understood, more and more couples are attempting to dissolve their marriages amicably through collaborative divorce. Collaborative divorces allow couples to work together in coming to an agreement about property division and custody arrangements. This process can save both parties a substantial amount of time and money, while also eliminating a significant amount of stress. If you are considering a divorce, it is important to retain the services of an experienced child custody and divorce attorney who can explain your legal options.

Legal Requirements

During collaborative divorces, each party hires his or her own attorney before signing a legally binding Participation Agreement. In Texas, a Participation Agreement must adhere to certain requirements, including that it:

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