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TX high asset divorcePreparing for an imminent divorce in Texas is difficult under any circumstances. Whether you are planning to file but want to make sure you are the one who serves your spouse with papers, or you have recently been served with a divorce petition, getting ready for a divorce can be extremely stressful. High asset divorces in Texas make preparation for a divorce even more complicated given the value and complexity of many assets that will be classified as community property under Texas law. When an Austin high net worth divorce is imminent, you should begin taking steps to ensure that you have the best chance of reaching a divorce resolution that is right for you. The following are tips for preparing for an imminent high asset divorce. If you have additional questions or need assistance, you should reach out to an experienced Texas high net worth divorce lawyer as soon as possible for legal advice.

Find an Attorney with Experience Handling High Net Worth Divorces in Texas

It is incredibly important to have a lawyer with experience representing Texas clients in high asset divorce cases. While you might think that any well-reviewed divorce attorney can handle your case, it is in your best interest to hire a high asset divorce lawyer who knows how to effectively represent clients in your position. High net worth divorces can have a variety of complex and contentious issues, and you will want to have an advocate on your side who knows what to do.

Learn About Appraisers and How They Can Help with Asset Valuation

Now is the time to begin learning about appraisers and how an appraiser can help you to obtain fair valuations for assets that will likely be classified as community property. You should not rely on your spouse to hire an appraiser. To be sure, you will want to work with an appraiser who is clearly a neutral party and will not give a biased valuation of certain tangible property.

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TX high asset divorce lawyerThe division of community property is a complicated process in any Texas divorce, but it is often particularly complex in high asset divorces in the state. If you are planning for a divorce or you have just begun the process of filing, you probably already know that, under Texas law, Texas is a community property state. What does this mean for your divorce and your property? In short, most property acquired after the date of the marriage will be classified as “community property,” or property of the community (the community being your marriage). Property acquired prior to the date of your marriage, as well as certain property acquired after the date of marriage, will typically be classified as separate property. In Texas, community property is divided in a divorce in a manner that is “fair and just,” according to the Texas Family Code.

What, then, is commingled property? The term commingled property refers to debts or assets that have characteristics of both separate property and community property. In a high net worth divorce, dealing with commingled property can get complicated, but an aggressive Austin high asset divorce attorney can help. In the meantime, we want to provide you with more information about commingled property and to discuss how courts handle it.

How a Court Will Handle Commingled Property in a High Asset Divorce

How will a court handle commingled property in your high asset divorce? The answer to that question depends largely on just how commingled the property has become. The level or amount of commingling will probably depend upon a few different factors, including, for instance, the type of property and the length of time for which it has been commingled. If the court can trace out, or separate, the community property from the separate property, it will likely do so. However, if the property is so commingled that it is not feasible to determine what amount of the property is community property and what amount is separate property, all of the commingled property could end up being classified as community property and divided between the spouses.

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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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