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TX divorce lawyerThe process of getting a divorce is rarely easy or simple. While all divorces have their own unique complexities, high net worth divorce cases can be especially complicated, since couples will need to address a wide variety of financial issues, including considering multiple sources of income, investments and other complex assets, business ownership, taxes, and debts. Whether a couple is involved in complex property litigation or needs assistance unraveling the details of their finances, a forensic accountant can be an invaluable resource.

Forensic Accounting During the Divorce Process

Forensic accountants can review financial records, perform appraisals, and analyze assets, debts, income, and other issues that affect a couple’s divorce. By providing a full understanding of a couple’s financial situation, these experts can help ensure that marital assets and debts are divided fairly in a divorce settlement, that financial support is calculated correctly, and that any concerns about undisclosed assets or misreported income are addressed properly.

Some of the issues that a forensic accountant may be able to address during the divorce process include:

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TX divorce lawyerGetting a divorce can be a difficult and laborious process for any couple, but it can be especially complicated for those who have a high net worth. In these cases, spouses will likely need to address multiple different types of high-value assets, and complex property litigation may be needed to ensure that spouses each receive an equal share of their marital assets. A skilled divorce attorney can help you understand how different types of property should be addressed as you work to complete the process of dissolving your marriage.

Division of Community Property

In Texas, all assets that a couple acquires during their marriage are considered community property, and each spouse should receive an equal share of the marital estate. Some types of high-value assets that may need to be addressed during divorce include:

  • Real estate - A couple’s primary marital residence, vacation homes in the state of Texas or other states or countries, and any other real estate property should be appraised to determine their monetary value. Spouses should be sure to understand whether they will be required to pay capital gains taxes on any property sold during or after divorce.
  • Investments - Spouses may own stock options, foreign bank accounts or investments, retirement funds, pensions, or other complex financial assets. A forensic accountant can review these assets to determine their full value so they can be properly divided during divorce. When dividing retirement assets, QDROs should be used to avoid taxes and penalties.
  • Business interests - If either spouse is a business owner, operates a professional practice, or has an ownership share in a family business, a business valuation will need to be performed to determine the present and future value of the business. This can ensure that business interests will be considered properly when dividing marital assets.
  • Valuables and collectibles - Spouses may own items such as artwork, jewelry, designer clothing, sports memorabilia, or other property that may have both a monetary and sentimental value. Appraisals should be performed on these assets to determine their actual worth.
  • Inheritances - An inheritance received by a spouse either before or during their marriage will typically be considered separate property rather than community property. However, inheritances may become commingled with other assets, making it difficult or impossible to distinguish these funds from other marital property. In these cases, assets that were inherited may be converted from separate property to community property.

Contact Our Austin High Net Worth Divorce Lawyers

At Powers and Kerr, PLLC, we have represented spouses in divorce cases involving a wide variety of different types of complex assets. We can ensure that you address these matters correctly, and we will fight to protect your financial interests and help you reach a positive outcome for your case. Contact our Austin, TX high-value property division attorneys by calling 512-610-6199.

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TX divorce lawyerref=divided in divorce are usually homes and vehicles, but there is one other asset that can arguably be more important: insurance policies of any kind, most specifically life insurance. Insurance policies can have significant payouts and can tip the balance in terms of property and asset division.

Child Support and Life Insurance

In Texas, if you have children, it is not uncommon that a court may ask you and your spouse to maintain life insurance policies on yourselves as both a way to provide for the children in an emergency and a way to secure child support obligations. The reasoning is not to give the former spouse a payday in the event of your death, but to ensure that your children are adequately provided for. Some former spouses hesitate to do this, but it is almost always the quickest and easiest way to ensure that your children are protected. Also, it is very often the case that the obligation to maintain life insurance results in a slight reduction in child support expenses for the paying parent.

While some have legitimate concerns about money being in the hands of fiscally irresponsible ex-spouses, there is a workaround. The most common is to list your children as the beneficiary of the life insurance policy, rather than your spouse. While your spouse will still have access to the life insurance money (in theory) if it is ever paid out, they will have a fiduciary duty to ensure that the proceeds of the policy be used to benefit the children. Failure to uphold that fiduciary duty can leave them open to contempt or embezzlement charges.

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TX high asset divorce lawyerA divorce can often have a large impact on your finances. With attorney’s fees, filing fees, court costs, and the asset division process, costs can add up quickly. This is why it is so important to protect your finances during and after your divorce. Many people who are considering ending their marriage may wonder how their divorce will affect their credit score. This is especially concerning for those with high net-worth, who might be facing financial uncertainty for the first time in their lives.

Helping Your Post-Divorce Credit Rating

Having decent credit is extremely important, particularly when you are starting your new life as a single person. While getting a divorce will not automatically affect your credit score, there are ways a divorce can be detrimental to it.

Here are a few tips on protecting your credit score during and after your divorce:

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TX divorce lawyerIt is not uncommon in marriages for one spouse to handle a majority or all of the couple’s finances while the other spouse has little to no input on these matters. Family law attorneys and psychologists have a specific term to refer to the spouse who has little say in financial matters: the “out-spouse.” When you are the out-spouse, it can be fairly easy for your partner to hide assets or other property in an attempt to keep more than his or her fair share of the marital estate during divorce. Part of the divorce process is dividing your marital assets so that you and your spouse each get your fair share. To ensure your property is divided fairly, you have to have at least some idea of what your financial situation looks like, which is rarely the case if you are an out-spouse.

The Discovery Process

If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets from you, chances are he or she will not be willing to come forward and reveal those assets and financial records willingly. During your divorce, your attorney will attempt to obtain this information through what is known as the discovery process. This process is a way that your attorney can formally ask your spouse for financial records. The court can take further action in pressuring your spouse to provide the required information if he or she remains uncooperative.

The basic steps of the discovery process include:

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