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TX high asset divorce lawyerHigh net worth divorces in Texas have many complex elements that do not exist in other types of divorce cases. If you are getting ready to file for divorce, or if your spouse has already filed, you should know just how important it is to have a Texas high net worth divorce lawyer on your side throughout this complicated and often lengthy process. Given the complexity of high asset divorces, we want to go through a list of things that anyone anticipating a high net worth divorce should consider.

1. You Should Hire a Lawyer Who Has Experience Handling High Asset Divorces

You want to make certain you have an Austin divorce lawyer who has experience handling high asset divorces in Texas.

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TX divorce lawyerHigh asset divorces in Austin, Texas are different from other divorces in many different ways. One significant distinction is that high net worth divorces almost always involve various types of complex property that must be classified and, in many cases, divided between the spouses according to Texas community property laws. If you are planning to file for divorce, or if you are in the early stages of your Austin divorce, you may already know that Texas is what is known as a “community property” state. Accordingly, most property acquired after the date of marriage will be classified as community property, and it will be divided between the spouses in a manner that the court determines to be “just and right.”

Classifying and dividing certain types of property can be extremely complicated, however, and high net worth divorce cases usually involve a substantial amount of complex property. The following are some of the common types of complex property that you may need to consider in your Texas divorce. And if you need assistance, you should know that an aggressive Austin high asset divorce attorney can represent you.

Rare Art, Books, Music, Artifacts, and Other Collectible Items

In Austin, many married couples share a home full of interesting collections, such as local art, rare books and music, and other artifacts. Collections made up of objects like these can be complicated to classify and divide in a divorce for many reasons.

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TX divorce lawyerHandling real estate can be an extremely complicated process, especially when you own a mix of residential properties and commercial properties with your spouse. As you may know, under Texas law, most property acquired after the date of marriage is “community property” and will get divided between the spouses upon divorce. If you are anticipating a high net worth divorce in Austin and own significant real estate, it is important to work with a divorce attorney who has experience handling complex property in a high net worth divorce.

While the division of community property is often complicated under any circumstances, real estate or real property can pose particular issues. The following are some tips from our Texas high net worth divorce attorneys for handling real estate in an Austin high asset divorce case.

Classifying Real Estate: Know Whether It is Community Property or Separate Property

For most married couples in Texas, the family home will be classified as community property and will be subject to division. In addition, any property that you acquired—whether it is a vacation property, a rental property, or a commercial property—after the date of your marriage can also be classified as community property. Moreover, even if you purchased one of these properties prior to the date of marriage, if you made payments on any of them or invested in updates during the marriage, those increases in value may constitute community property.

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TX divorce lawyerThere are two questions that often come up in high asset divorce cases: First, how does a court properly characterize “community” versus “separate” property? Second, to what extent does the other party's fault in causing the divorce affect the court's division of community property?

Court: Judge Allowed to Award Ex-Wife Greater Share of Community Property Based on Ex-Husband's Infidelity

To give you some idea of how the courts address these questions, here is a recent decision from the Texas 1st District Court of Appeals. In this case, a former husband appealed a divorce judgment that awarded most of the couple's community property to the former wife. On appeal, the husband challenged both the unequal distribution and the overall characterization of some of the property.

The couple was previously married for 10 years. The former wife filed for divorce on grounds of infidelity and cruel treatment. The former husband apparently did not challenge these allegations. The trial court ultimately granted the divorce on grounds of infidelity and cruel treatment.

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