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TX high asset divorce lawyerWhile many high net worth divorces in Texas involve spouses with nearly equal earning power or separate assets, a significant number of high asset divorces also involve spouses where only one was the primary earner during the marriage. Whether the other spouse was a stay-at-home parent or simply earned significantly less in the marriage, the prospect of divorce can be extremely daunting for that spouse. Although gender roles are shifting, the non-primary earner spouse often ends up being a woman. And many women who go through high asset divorces in this position do not take all the steps they can to position themselves well financially. It is particularly important for women to consult with financial advisors more often than they do and to work with a divorce attorney who has experience handling high net worth cases.

The following are some of the reasons women should consider a financial advisor in a high net worth divorce. If you need help with your divorce case or have questions about financial matters, an experienced Austin high asset divorce attorney at our firm can speak with you today.

Not Enough Women Work with Financial Experts, But They Should

According to a new study, women do not work with financial advisors and other financial experts nearly as often as they should in divorce cases. This is even true for women who are non-primary earners who are going through high asset divorces. Indeed, over 95 percent of women do not use a financial advisor when going through a divorce despite having financial goals they want to achieve.

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TX divorce lawyerAlthough dissolving a marriage always has the potential to be a complicated process, high asset divorces tend to be particularly difficult to resolve. This is largely due to the fact that the property division portion of high asset divorces is often extremely complex, as couples are required to take into account the significant tax implications of any settlement agreements. For instance, some of the most notable tax liabilities for which many high net worth couples should, but often fail to account for are capital gains assessed on the sale of the family home.

An experienced high asset divorce attorney can be instrumental in helping divorcing couples identify and limit exposure to potential tax liabilities, so if you and your spouse have decided to file for divorce, it is critical to contact an experienced high asset divorce lawyer who can ensure that your financial interests are protected.

What Is the Capital Gains Tax Exemption?

One of the most important tax breaks for married couples is the capital gains tax exemption. The capital gains tax is imposed on any sales of capital investments, such as real estate. For many couples, this means that they must pay a capital gains tax when selling the family home. Fortunately, single homeowners who decide to sell their residences can exclude up to a $250,000 gain. The benefit for married couples is even higher, as couples who jointly own a home can take advantage of a capital gains tax exemption that allows them to avoid paying a tax on profits totaling $500,000.

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TX divorce lawyerDissolving a marriage is complicated and often has the potential of becoming an emotional and difficult process. Those risks tend to be especially high for those who are involved in a high asset divorce and own unique assets, such as a business, as they could be required to sell the company, or buy out their soon to be ex-spouse’s interest, both of which could cause significant financial strain. Obtaining an accurate business valuation is critical to ensuring that any property settlement entered into by a couple is fair, so if you or your spouse own a business and are considering divorce, it is critical to speak with an experienced high asset divorce attorney who can ensure that your assets are properly appraised.

Determining a Company’s Value

Hiring an expert in business appraisals is critical when it comes to placing a value on a company. This type of appraisal is complicated, as it requires a prediction of the potential future value of the company, as well as its past and current value. During this analysis, business appraisers will take a number of factors into account, including the company’s:

  • Expenses;
  • Earning history;
  • Earning capacity;
  • Dividend-paying capacity; and
  • Stock prices.

Depending on the method of valuation used, an appraiser may also be required to evaluate the price of company equipment and other tangible assets, such as:

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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.

Document Review

One of the best ways to find out whether a spouse is hiding or lying about his or her assets or debts is to compare the information that he or she provides with financial records, such as:

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Texas divorce lawyerMany couples choose to avoid entering into prenuptial agreements because they think it represents a lack of faith in the couple’s future. This failure to create a premarital agreement can have serious consequences if the marriage later dissolves. Fortunately, even after a couple is married, the parties can still enter into an agreement, in which they decide how certain assets will be divided in the event of a divorce. This type of document is known as a postmarital agreement and is an important tool for couples who have diverse or significant assets. However, there are certain requirements that must be met for postmarital agreements to be considered valid, so if you are thinking about drafting your own postmarital agreement, it is critical to retain and consult with an experienced high asset divorce attorney.

The Benefits of Postmarital Agreements

Drafting a postmarital agreement gives the parties involved the opportunity to assess their separate and marital property, including unique assets like antiques and jewelry, as well as debt, expenses, and spending habits. These agreements, like premarital agreements, allow the parties to not only identify assets but also to convert those assets from marital property to separate property or vice versa. Couples are also permitted to address the following topics:

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Texas divorce lawyerThe financial issues that couples must tackle during divorce are some of the most complicated problems that come with dissolving a marriage, especially for couples with significant or diverse assets. In these situations, consulting with a forensic accountant who can help identify concealed assets or appraise unique assets is crucial, so if you and your spouse have filed for divorce and have varied assets, you should consider speaking with an experienced high asset divorce attorney who can help connect you to a well-respected and efficient forensic accountant.

What Is Forensic Accounting?

There are four main financial components to most divorces: assets, income, debts, and expenses. Forensic accountants can help with each of these areas by collecting and analyzing financial documents and then communicating the findings to the clients or the court. This involves completing a wide range of smaller asks, including:

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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 complex litigation attorney, Texas complex divorce lawyer, Texas high asset divorce attorney, Earlier this year, the Panama law firm, Mossack Fonseca, leaked more than 11 million confidential documents. Said to contain information on how some of the world's wealthiest people hide their assets, those documents gave insight to just how easy it is to swindle a spouse during high asset divorce proceedings. But, until now, the general public did not have access to the names or information they contained.

Taxes, Divorce, and Asset Hiding

Asset concealing is not just done in the name of divorce. Many who commit this act of fraud do so in order to avoid paying full taxes on their millions or billions. But the reason is irrelevant when the spouse is either in the dark about the assets or unable to prove they exist – and therein has been the problem for some of the highest profile divorces in history.

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