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TX divorce lawyerWhen you are starting to think about filing for divorce in Texas and you own substantial assets, you may be thinking about how the community property rules in Texas will result in the majority of your assets being divided between you and your spouse. Accordingly, you may be wondering whether it makes sense, or whether it is actually worth it, to hire a Texas high asset divorce lawyer in your case. You might have heard of friends who went through a divorce process on their own and were able to work out a marital settlement agreement through communication with their spouse. While there are occasionally situations in which a couple can go through a divorce relatively easily without an attorney, it is not advisable to handle a high net worth divorce on your own.

In high asset divorces in Texas, the parties will be dealing with particularly complex and valuable property, and there is significantly more money at stake. Even if you have a relatively amicable relationship with your spouse now, and she or he promises to be fair, you should know that the process can quickly become contentious if you cannot actually reach an agreement. There is also a possibility that your spouse could be concealing assets from you. The following are just some of the reasons it is essential to have a lawyer during your high asset divorce.

Locating Hidden Assets

High net worth divorces can sometimes involve hidden or concealed assets. Our firm can help to ensure that all community property is identified and classified. If necessary, we can work with you and a forensic accountant to locate any property that your spouse may be concealing.

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TX divorce lawyerMany couples in Austin, Texas with significant assets own property outside the state of Texas. In some cases, a couple may even have international assets, such as real estate or bank accounts. While these types of property are not as common in divorces involving middle-class couples, high net worth divorces in Texas often do have assets located in other states and other countries. When assets are located outside of Texas, this fact alone does not mean that they will not be subject to division. Rather, any assets, regardless of where they are located, will need to be classified and, if they are community property, divided between the spouses.

We want to provide you with more information about handling out-of-state property in a Texas high net worth divorce. An aggressive Austin high asset divorce attorney can discuss the specific details of your case with you today.

Out-of-State Property Must Be Classified

If you and your spouse both live in Austin or at least you both live in the state of Texas, you may be wondering whether valuable property that is located outside the state — either in another U.S. state or in an international location — will need to be identified when you go through the divorce process. Texas law makes clear that any assets owned by the spouses need to be properly identified and classified. In other words, when you list the property you own so that the court can determine whether it should be classified as community property (and thus subject to division) or separate property (and thus not subject to division), you do need to list out-of-state assets.

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TX high asset divorce lawyerWhat makes a high asset divorce in Austin, TX  a high asset divorce? In other words, how much money does a married couple need to have in order to be considered to have a high net worth divorce? And when a married couple is anticipating a high asset divorce, how might the case differ depending upon the source of the assets and the likelihood that one or both spouses will continue to contribute to those assets in the future, even after they are divided as community property?

To be clear, not all high asset divorces are the same. For example, some involve two spouses who have both contributed significant assets to their community property through high-paying careers and family inheritances, while some involve scenarios in which only one of the spouses was the primary source of the monetary assets that make up the community property. These divorce cases can look quite different from one another, and the experienced Austin high asset divorce attorneys at our firm want to tell you more.

Both Spouses Were High Earners During the Marriage

When both spouses were high earners during the marriage, the prospect of dividing certain types of community assets under Texas law, such as retirement benefits or stock options, may not be as daunting since both parties likely anticipate that they will continue earning a substantial paycheck and benefits after the divorce and may not actually see any of those benefits transferred directly to a spouse. Moreover, when both spouses are high earners, the matter of alimony or spousal maintenance is often much less of a concern.

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TX high asset divorce lawyerAlthough divorce can be an emotional rollercoaster for the parties involved, proceedings can become especially contentious when there are disputes about ownership of significant, unique, or valuable assets. While prenuptial agreements can help clear up these disagreements, many couples fail to enter into these types of contracts, as they deem it unlucky to contemplate the end of a marriage before it actually begins. For help protecting your property during your divorce, please contact our experienced Texas high asset divorce legal team today.

Accounting for All Assets

One of the biggest mistakes that a divorcing couple can make is to fail to account for all of their assets, including:

  • Current bank accounts
  • Non-cash assets
  • Future interests, such as pensions, start-up stock options, and business interests
  • Inherited funds or goods
  • Income earned prior to the divorce filing, but received later, including bonuses and recent paycheck retirement contributions

Identifying all of these types of assets can be difficult, especially for those who do not play an active role in managing their household finances, so it is particularly important for those who find themselves in this position, to speak with an experienced forensic accountant before proceeding with the property division process.

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TX high asset divorce attorneyOne of the factors that sets high asset divorces apart from many other divorces is the practice of hiding assets. Fortunately, there are steps that divorcing parties can take to discover and report attempts by their spouses to hide assets. However, taking these steps usually requires the assistance of professionals, including a forensic accountant and a high asset divorce attorney, both of whom can help track down assets and thereby ensure that any settlement agreements entered into by the parties account for all of the couple’s property.

Utilizing the Discovery Process

Couples who litigate their divorces are required to provide each other with copies of important documentation and to submit to questioning. By requesting the production of documents and issuing interrogatories, a high asset divorce lawyer can help get to the bottom of a couple’s financial situation, as parties who refuse to produce documentation as ordered, or who lie while under oath, face strict penalties.

Following Paper Trails

Divorcing spouses attempt to hide assets in a number of different ways, including:

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