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How to Find Hidden Assets in a Texas High Net Worth Divorce

Posted on in High Asset Divorce

TX divorce lawyerHigh asset divorces in Austin, TX are complicated for numerous reasons, from matters of property division to alimony. One of the more complex and contentious issues that can arise in a high net worth divorce is the matter of hidden assets. Particularly in high asset divorces where one of the spouses was the primary earner during the marriage, the other spouse may have concerns about hidden or concealed assets. When the non-primary earner does not control the finances of the marriage and does not regularly manage business issues or jointly owned accounts, it can be difficult to know exactly what the assets from the marriage look like in sum. Yet discovering hidden assets can be extremely important given that Texas is a community property state.

Under Texas law, couples who get divorced in Texas should know that community property is owned equally by the spouses. Accordingly, courts divide the property recognizing that both spouses have an equal interest in it while also taking into account what kind of division would be fair to both parties. If there are substantial hidden assets, one of the spouses could end up losing out on property to which she or he is entitled. While assets can be hidden in any divorce—regardless of the extent of the property owned by the married couple—hidden assets in a high net worth divorce can total tens of thousands of dollars. As such, it is essential to ensure that neither spouse is hiding assets in the divorce.

Know Where to Look for Hidden Assets

Even if you do not immediately suspect your spouse of hiding assets, it is important to know where to look for “red flags.” For example, itemized deductions in Schedule A in past tax returns could reveal property that you did not know existed. Or, for instance, details about assets that have generated interest and dividends (located in Schedule B) could reveal that your spouse has more money than she or he has listed. Tax returns can also provide information about business profits and losses (Schedule C), as well as capital gains and losses (Schedule D). Information about capital gains and losses can provide information about certain securities in which your spouse has invested, as well as stocks or real estate.

Take an Inventory of Your Property

Make a list of all property that you know to have been acquired during your marriage. While taking an inventory of all property can be complicated and time-consuming, it is important to think through any assets that may exist, from investments to real property.

Gather As Much Financial Documentation as Possible

While it can be difficult to gather financial documentation if you are already separated from your spouse, it is important to make copies of all financial materials—tax returns, bank statements, investment statements, business records, and any other documents that could reveal the amount and location of particular assets.

Consider Using a Forensic Accountant

A forensic accountant is someone who has particular experience locating hidden assets in divorce cases. Whether or not you suspect that your spouse may be hiding assets, your high asset divorce lawyer can help you find an experienced forensic accountant who can locate suspected hidden assets and who can uncover possible hidden assets that you did not know about.

Contact an Austin High Asset Divorce Attorney

If you have concerns that your spouse is hiding assets, it is important to work with an experienced Austin high asset divorce attorney who has experience handling high asset divorce cases. An advocate at our firm can speak with you today about your case. In addition to financial matters, a complex child custody attorney or complex litigation attorney at our firm can assist with other high asset divorce issues. Contact Powers and Kerr, PLLC at 512-610-6199 to learn more about the aggressive services we provide to couples in Texas high net worth divorces.

 

Sources:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.6.htm

https://www.forbes.com/sites/catherineschnaubelt/2019/03/08/finding-hidden-assets-in-a-divorce/#dc50c806fd18

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