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Texas high-asset divorce attorney, Texas complex litigation lawyer, complex property negotiations,The marriage dissolution rate for these couples has doubled in the last twenty years. These "gray divorce" matters are often the epitome of a high-asset divorce. While there may be no complex child custody issues to resolve, the property division can be a Gordian Knot of separate assets, community assets, and commingled assets.

Aging baby boomers were the first demographic group to divorce in significant numbers. Many of these people are now in their second or subsequent marriage, and the fact that the divorce rate is significantly higher in these relationships may partially explain the gray divorce phenomenon. In one study, the authors pointed to unique later-in-life issues — such as the empty nest syndrome, declining physical health, and ailing parents — which can put added strain on a relationship.

The study predicted that gray divorce would increase even if the overall divorce rate remained flat, due to the aging American population.

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Austin divorce attorney, forensic accountants, high asset divorce, complex divorce, division of property, hidden assetsWhen involved in a high-asset divorce, there are key issues which top the list of importance. Child custody may be number one if a divorcing couple has young children. However, for divorcing couples who either do not have children or have children who are grown, their number one priority often involves finances.

Texas is a community property state. This means that all property a couple has acquired during their marriage needs to be split evenly between the two spouses. Additionally, besides the usual bank accounts, divorcing couples involved in a high-asset divorce may own assets such as stocks, professional practices or businesses, various trust accounts, retirement plans, and insurance plans. Couples may have multiple properties in differing states or in foreign countries, as well as antiques, art, and other expensive collections. All of these items make up the marital estate and need to be evenly divided between the two spouses.

Also, one spouse may choose to hide assets or property from the other spouse in an attempt to keep those assets from being included in the marital estate, especially during a contentious, high-asset divorce. Therefore, it can be beneficial to utilize the services of a forensic accountant. A forensic accountant is specifically trained to recognize trends, patterns, and discrepancies that reveal what should be being reported and what is not being reported. Examples of the underhanded tactics a spouse may employ but can be discovered by a forensic accountant include under-reporting income, creating phony debt, overpaying creditors, and transferring assets to fake companies.

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Posted on in Child Support

 Austin divorce attorney, child support in high-asset divorces, Williamson high-asset divorce attorney, complex litigation, child custody issues, child support payments, cease paying child supportWhen married parents are going through a high-asset divorce, two issues that need to be decided are child custody and support. Depending on what the parties agree to, and/or what the court decides, the parent who typically has less physical time with the child will be responsible for paying child support.

The purpose of child support is to ensure that both parents are contributing to the financial care and cost of raising the child. Unfortunately, and all too common, the parent who is ordered to pay the child support does not see it that way, but instead sees it as money he or she is paying to their ex-spouse. For various reasons, the paying parent does not, or will not, accept that it is their duty as a parent to contribute to the child's financial needs.

Often in these situations, the paying parent will skip payments, make partial payments, or cease paying child support payments entirely. Deadbeat parents who do not make child support payments come from all financial backgrounds, including those with high assets.

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Austin divorce attorney, Cedar Park complex divorce attorney, commit financial infidelity, complex divorce, complex divorce settlements, financial infidelity, high asset divorce, Round Rock family law attorneyAccording to National Endowment for Financial Education, one-third of people admit to financial infidelity in their marriage. Income, bank accounts, purchases, cash, and other financial information are just some of the items that may be hidden from a spouse. Not only can this have consequences on a marriage, it can also have a direct bearing on any complex divorce settlements should the couple's marriage end.

There are several ways people can hide income and assets from a spouse in order to avoid including them in the marriage estate. A spouse who is going through a high asset divorce and suspects the other spouse has committed financial infidelity should consider the following:

  • A spouses who are trying to hide money will transfer funds into a separate account that has just his or her name on it;

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divorce settlement, debt, jail, Austin divorce lawyer, Austin divorce attorneyOn April 25, 2013, Cherilyn Kinney, of Hunt County Texas was granted a divorce from her husband Robert Kinney. The final decree was May 22, 2013. As part of the divorce settlement, Cherilyn was to pay Robert $40,000. This amount was referred to as a debt in the settlement paperwork. The divorce judge gave her six months to pay the funds to Robert. The final due date was on November 22, 2013.

On November 23, 2013, because Cherilyn had failed to make the payment, Robert filed a contempt of court charge against her. A hearing was held on February 7, 2014, and the judge found Cherilyn in contempt. He ordered her held at the Hunt County jail until the entire $40,000 payment was made.

Her attorneys immediately filed a writ of habeas corpus with the Appeals Court in Dallas. Habeas corpus means a person is required to be brought before a judge or court who can decide if the person is being detained or held unlawfully or without just cause.

 The Appeals Court threw out the lower court's contempt order. In making its ruling, the court cited three Texas laws:

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prenuptial agreementIt is rare that a prenuptial agreement is dismissed as invalid in divorce proceedings. But the recent case in New York where a the wife of a Long Island real estate mogul convinced the judge that the prenup she signed before their marriage was invalid is considered precedent setting in legal circles. Elizabeth Petrakis told the court that she was coerced to sign the agreement, only four days before the wedding, because her husband, Peter Petrakis, threatened to call off the wedding. Petrakis said she felt pressured because her father had already spent $40,000 in wedding costs.

In the agreement, Peter Petrakis would keep everything if they should divorce. Elizabeth Petrakis said her husband told her he would tear up the agreement as soon as they had a child. But two children later, he still did not tear it up. Elizabeth Petrakis has been arguing the validity of the agreement for seven years. Two prior Nassau County courts said that Peter Petrakis "fraudulently induced" Elizabeth to sign the agreement and those decisions were affirmed by a Brooklyn appellate court. So what are some of the grounds where a prenuptial agreement could be overturned?
  1. Fraud is one reason why a judge could throw out an agreement. If one party fails to make full disclosure of all their assets, the court considers that fraud.
  2. If someone can prove they signed an agreement while under duress or with coercion, the agreement may be thrown out. Each state does have different standards of what is considered duress or coercion.
  3. If an agreement was signed when a person lacked mental capability, a judge may order it invalid. For example, if the person was under the influence of drugs when the agreement was signed, they may not have fully comprehended what they were signing.
  4. Improper filing of paperwork or incorrectly drafted can also end up making a prenup invalid.
  5. If you sign a prenup without having your own, impartial legal representation can invalidate an agreement.
  6. What the court would consider asinine provisions – such as not having to pay child support in the event of a divorce – will more than likely have a judge stamp the prenup as invalid.
If you are planning a marriage and are discussing drawing up a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse, it's important to have your own independent council. Contact an Austin family law attorney to represent your best interests in this process.

rebound relationship, dating after divorce, life after divorce, Austin divorce lawyer, Texas divorceWhen going through a breakup, different people will offer different advice. Some will say that it is unfair to date a new person while still having feelings for an ex.  Other people will say that the best way to move on from a split is to start dating someone new. Now there is research to say that the second option is the healthier decision.

In a joint study between Queens College in New York City and the University of Illinois, researchers interviewed over 300 young adults. Some were in committed relationships and others were single. The researchers intended to study the effects of a rebound relationship on the well-being of the recently dumped. They published their findings in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

In the scope of the study, a rebound relationship is understood as a relationship that is started quickly after the end of a serious romantic relationship, before the feelings for the ex are resolved. While it is a common occurrence, there was no scientific research examining the phenomenon.

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domestic violence, financial stress, recession, abuse, violence, Austin, divorce, lawyer, attorneyFinancial stress and economic downturns may have serious consequences for victims of domestic and family violence. As tensions rise due to financial pressure, victims may be subject to more severe forms of violence, or an increased frequency of violence.

In one 2012 study, researchers found that eight out of 10 domestic violence shelters in the United States reported an increase in women seeking help following the economic downturn in 2008. Unfortunately, although demand for help was up, funding for services and prevention efforts were down overall nationwide. This lead to many abuse victims staying with their abuser for longer periods of time. In fact, 74 percent of victims who participated in the study reported that they stayed with their abuser longer due to economic concerns. Though the weak economy cannot be blamed for creating abusers, the study did find that it lead to an increase in the frequency and severity of abuse. According to shelters, 70 percent of women listed financial issues as a factor in their abuse, while 45 percent named job loss as a contributing factor. Unfortunately, these same factors led to the reduction of services by many shelters across the country. Nearly half of all participating shelters reported they had to cut services, with 40 percent of those cuts occurring to services such as transitional housing, individualized support, or advocacy efforts due to financial constraints. Additionally, many shelters were forced to cut child care, which can make it more difficult for abuse victims to find jobs. Domestic violence is a serious issue. While it can be incredibly stressful and frightening, there are services and help available to you if you are a victim of domestic violence. A qualified attorney can help you with legal concerns, including getting an order of protection if necessary. If you are a victim of domestic violence, contact an Austin family law attorney today.
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