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Travis County divorce lawyerDivorce is messy. Divorces that involve complex child custody issues, a high-net-worth marital estate, hidden assets, or other significant issues are even messier. In many of these types of cases, a divorce attorney may recommend hiring a private investigator to uncover evidence to help a spouse prevail in the final divorce settlement.

However, it is important that the private investigator you hire is a skilled professional who can produce results and is also aware of the legal limits that they are supposed to be following. Conversely, if your spouse has hired a private investigator to try to dig up evidence against you, it is also important to let your attorney know if that investigator is breaching those limits.  

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Austin complex divorce lawyerDivorce can have a significant financial impact on a person, especially if they are involved in running their own business. A business is usually among the marital assets that need to be divided under Texas community property laws. But before a business can be divided, its value needs to be assessed.  Some businesses are easier to value, while others, such as private practices, can be more difficult. If you are a physician with your own practice, you likely have questions about how your business will be valued for the purposes of divorce. 

Determining the Value of a Medical Practice

In order to determine the actual value of your medical practice, you will need to hire a financial professional who specializes in medical practice valuation. It is critical that you hire your own professional to make an assessment of your practice since it is also highly likely that your spouse’s attorney will also recommend they hire a professional to do the same.

There are several factors that the court will consider when determining how much a medical practice should be valued and how much – if any – of that value is part of the marital estate. These factors include the business structure you chose when you originally opened your practice and how long the practice has been open. Valuation becomes even more complex if you are in practice with other physicians as well as whether any other owners hold stock in the practice.

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Austin divorce lawyerWhat was once just a hobby for a few has turned into a significant form of investment for many. It is estimated that more than 20 million people in this country own cryptocurrency. The value of the cryptocurrency market hit an all-time high of $2 trillion in April, an obvious boom for anyone who owns crypto assets. But this popularity of cryptocurrency has also created a way for some spouses to hide assets in a divorce.

How Is Cryptocurrency Treated in a Texas Divorce?

Cryptocurrency is considered a marital asset, just like funds in financial accounts, stocks, bonds, 401(k) accounts, and IRAs. Since Texas is a community property state – meaning the marital estate is divided in half in a divorce – the value of any crypto assets the couple owns is also required to be split between the couple.

In situations where one spouse purchased crypto assets prior to the marriage, the growth in those assets may be deemed a marital asset depending on how the couple approached this growth. For example, if both spouses worked together in making decisions in purchases, investing, etc., during the marriage, then the court could rule that profits made during the marriage are not separate belonging to the spouse who purchased the original assets, but are instead marital assets.

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Posted on in Divorce

Travis County High Asset Divorce LawyerWhen a marriage has broken down, it can be difficult to decide which way to turn. Do you stay and try to work through the issues that have come between you and your spouse or do you finally walk away and start a new life for yourself? There are many aspects to ending a marriage – both emotionally and legally. Before making the final decision, the following are some of the issues a person should think about when considering divorce.

Will You Be Able to Support Yourself Financially?

If you are the primary wage earner, then this may not even be a question for you to consider, but if you are a stay-at-home parent or only work part-time, you will need to consider how you will be able to cover all of your expenses after your divorce is final. If this is your situation, your attorney may recommend seeking spousal support from your spouse.

Where Will You Live During and After the Divorce Is Final?

When a couple decides to divorce, one of the spouses will usually move out of the home they share together. Will this be you or will it be your spouse? Having this plan in place before you actually begin the divorce process is important.

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Austin Divorce LawyerThere are many complex financial issues that need to be addressed in a high-net-worth divorce. Unfortunately, one of those issues is taxes. When marital assets are divided in a divorce, the IRS considers this income. This is why it is critical to have a skilled high asset divorce attorney advocating for you and ensuring your financial future is protected.

Spousal Support

Prior to 2019, spousal support payments were fully deductible for the spouse who was making the payments and the receiving spouse was required to claim the payments as income on their tax returns. However, for anyone divorced after January 1, 2019, the law was changed so that the spouse making the payments must pay taxes on this money since it is no longer deductible. The receiving spouse no longer has to report the payments as income.

Dependent Exemption

Whenever there are children in the marriage, a decision must be made in the divorce agreement over which parent will be able to claim the child as a dependent on their tax return. There are several common options that the court may order. For example, the parents may alternate years, where one parent takes the claim on even years and the other parent takes the claim on odd years. If the couple has more than one child, the option may be to “divide” the children on their tax returns.

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Travis County Family Law AttorneyWhen it comes to divorce, Texas is a community property state. This means that the marital estate is supposed to be divided 50/50. Unfortunately, many spouses do not feel that their spouse is entitled to half of everything the couple owns and will do all they can to prevent that from happening–even if what they are doing is illegal. If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets, there are steps you can take to determine how they are doing it and where the assets are. A skilled Austin complex divorce attorney can help.

Steps Your Attorney Can Take

During the divorce process, there are many types of legal documents and records that must be shared between both parties. Many of these documents are handed over during the discovery phase. All information exchanged between spouses is done so under oath and consequences of intentionally omitting or covering up information can result in serious consequences.

An attorney can also use written interrogatories as a tool to gain information from a spouse. A skilled attorney will know how to ask questions in a certain way in order to glean significant information from the other party.

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Travis County Divorce AttorneyOne of the most contentious part of a high asset divorce is the division of assets. Although Texas is a community property state – which means all assets are divided 50/50 – it is not uncommon for some spouses to do everything they can to try to keep more of the marital estate “pie” for themselves by hiding assets. Other spouses commit asset dissipation. The legal definition of dissipation of assets is “The use of an asset for an illegal or inequitable purpose, such as a spouse’s use of community property for personal benefit when a divorce is imminent.”

In some divorces, the spouse will hide their asset dissipation, but in other cases, the spending is obvious. One of the more common obvious signs is when a spouse begins spending money from the marital estate on elective cosmetic surgery.

The Use of Marital Estate Funds for Cosmetic Surgery

It is quite common for a person going through a divorce to also begin to go through some physical changes, especially if they had been married for some time. They may begin working out more consistently, change the color of their hair, begin dressing in a different style, etc. In some cases, this self-improvement journey can also result in undergoing cosmetic surgery.

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Travis County Family Law AttorneyFor many couples who decide to divorce, the decision to end the marriage is usually a mutual one. While it may be one spouse who finally makes the decision to file, there has usually been some discussions about the dissatisfaction both spouses have with the marriage. However, there are also situations where one spouse files for divorce and the other spouse is completely blindsided by the legal action. In these cases, it is important for the spouse being served to act quickly and obtain legal representation in the event the spouse used the surprise “attack” for malicious reasons, such as hiding marital assets or interfering with a fair custody agreement.

Child Custody

If you and your spouse have children, the surprise divorce filing could also be an attempt to get the upper hand in any child custody decision the court makes, especially if your spouse had already made arrangements to move with the child out of the marital home, with or without your knowledge. The important thing to remember if this happens is that even if your spouse has left with your child, the courts will have the final say in custody issues, regardless of your spouse’s surprise move.

Any decisions the court makes is always based on what is in the best interest of the child. Denying access to your child could actually backfire on your spouse because courts do not approve of these types of tactics. Your attorney will aggressively advocate for you and your child to ensure a fair child custody and parenting time outcome.

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