6034 West Courtyard Drive, Suite 100,
Austin, TX 78730

Call Us512-610-6199

Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in hidden assets

TX high asset lawyerWhen you are in the midst of divorce, it is necessary to protect your rights from all angles, especially when it comes to finances. The lengths you go to in order to secure your financial well being and how you handle those proceedings will determine a great deal in terms of your quality of life and your overall lifestyle once the marriage has officially ended.

Why You Should be Concerned About Marital Assets

There are multiple reasons you should be aware of the possibility of hidden assets within your marriage as you undergo divorce. While it is obvious that every spouse should naturally be concerned about finances during a split, if you are not vigilant, hidden assets, in particular, can significantly affect your bank account, investments, and other financial resources after the divorce is final.

When your spouse conceals assets, it places you at risk for losing large chunks of marital property that you would otherwise be eligible to claim. This loss of property can affect everything from your day-to-day bills to your general financial stability. It can also trigger more long-lasting consequences, such as creating obstacles to your future financial plans, as retirement funds, savings accounts, and more can be affected.

...

TX divorce lawyerIt is not uncommon in marriages for one spouse to handle a majority or all of the couple’s finances while the other spouse has little to no input on these matters. Family law attorneys and psychologists have a specific term to refer to the spouse who has little say in financial matters: the “out-spouse.” When you are the out-spouse, it can be fairly easy for your partner to hide assets or other property in an attempt to keep more than his or her fair share of the marital estate during divorce. Part of the divorce process is dividing your marital assets so that you and your spouse each get your fair share. To ensure your property is divided fairly, you have to have at least some idea of what your financial situation looks like, which is rarely the case if you are an out-spouse.

The Discovery Process

If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets from you, chances are he or she will not be willing to come forward and reveal those assets and financial records willingly. During your divorce, your attorney will attempt to obtain this information through what is known as the discovery process. This process is a way that your attorney can formally ask your spouse for financial records. The court can take further action in pressuring your spouse to provide the required information if he or she remains uncooperative.

The basic steps of the discovery process include:

...

TX divorce lawyerThere are a variety of financial issues that may need to be addressed during a high-asset divorce, and one of the key considerations for many spouses is the possibility that their former partner may be attempting to hide assets. This is often done with the intent of influencing the property division process or to reduce the amount of spousal support or child support payments that a person would be required to make.

When spouses have a high net worth, complex property litigation may be needed to sort out multiple different types of assets and ensure that they are divided properly. Litigation may also address any attempts to conceal assets or income. Concerns about hidden assets are likely to arise if one spouse is a business owner. Some common ways that a business may be used to hide assets include:

  • Misreporting income and expenses - A business’s financial records can be used in a variety of ways to conceal assets, such as by failing to report cash payments or reporting fraudulent expenses.
  • Paying nonexistent employees - A business owner may claim that they are paying a salary to an employee while funneling this money into a private account. In some cases, a person may employ a friend or family member and overpay them as a way to have them hold money until the divorce is complete.
  • Depreciating business assets - A person may claim that assets owned by a business, such as equipment, vehicles, or real estate, are worth less than their actual value. By attempting to reduce the overall value of the business, a spouse may attempt to avoid dividing this or other marital property fairly.
  • Overpaying taxes - A business owner may purposely pay more taxes to the government than are owed with the intent of receiving a refund after their divorce has been finalized.
  • Delayed transactions - A person may wait to sign business contracts or complete major transactions until after a divorce has been completed, allowing them to avoid reporting this income or any increase in the value of the company during the divorce process.
  • Transferring business assets to others - A spouse may give an ownership share of their business to a family member or friend, or they may transfer other assets into someone else’s control. This may be done with the intent of removing these assets from the marital estate while planning to resume ownership of the assets after the divorce has been finalized.

Contact Our Austin, Texas Business Valuation Lawyers

If your spouse is a business owner, you will want to make sure all of the financial issues related to the business are considered properly during your divorce. At Powers and Kerr, PLLC, we will work to make sure all business assets and financial records are uncovered during the discovery process, including working with forensic accountants to gain a full understanding of the value of business assets and all forms of income and cash flow. We will help you determine how these matters should be addressed during the divorce process, and we will work to protect your rights and financial interests at all times. Contact our Austin high asset divorce attorneys today at 512-610-6199.

...

TX divorcel lawyerWhen you are getting ready to file for divorce, or your spouse has recently filed, you should be thinking carefully about the divorce lawyer you will hire to represent you. For high net worth couples in Austin, your choice of a divorce attorney is particularly important given that your case is likely to have complications due to the high value of your assets and earnings. You may be wondering: what makes a high asset divorce different? And you might even be thinking that any divorce lawyer familiar with community property division and child custody issues under the Texas Family Code can handle your case.

However, it is essential to keep in mind that there are various issues that do in fact make high asset divorces different from other divorces, and you should always have a Texas high asset divorce lawyer on your side who has years of experience assisting clients in high net worth divorces in and around Austin. The following are just a few of the ways in which high asset divorces are different from divorces involving spouses with lower incomes and assets.

Valuation of Complex Property

High asset divorces often involve high-value complex property that can be difficult to value without the assistance from an appraiser. For example, high asset divorces in Austin may involve businesses that need to be appraised, valuable art collections that need to be appraised for current market value, or real estate in different parts of the country (or even different parts of the world) that will need to be accurately appraised. Often, distinct and high-value property will need to involve multiple appraisers with experience providing valuations for niche assets.

...

TX divorce lawyerHigh asset divorces in Texas are complex for many reasons, from community property that is of high-value and difficult to properly appraise to hidden assets. We often think of hidden assets as specific property, both tangible and intangible, that one spouse might try to conceal from the other spouse and from the court. For example, hidden assets often include out-of-state or overseas bank accounts or investments, business holdings, and even real estate. Yet another form that asset hiding can take is when the higher-earning spouse attempts to conceal his or her actual earnings. Income must be reported accurately to the court. If a spouse does hide the full amount of his or her income, Texas law allows the court to award the other spouse a higher amount of the community property. The spouse who hid assets can also face additional penalties.

If you do not know your spouse’s actual income and are preparing for a divorce, it is essential to work with an aggressive high asset divorce lawyer in Texas who can assist you. The following are some of the ways that you and your attorney can determine your spouse’s actual income.

Locate Tax Returns

If you have access to previous tax returns, especially if you filed jointly with your spouse, it is important to get copies of those tax returns as soon as possible. Your jointly filed tax return can allow you to determine your spouse’s reported income for those years. If you are married filing separately and may have access to both of your tax returns, you should make any copies so that you will have this information.

...

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.

...

TX high asset divorce lawyerWhen a wealthy couple is getting divorced in Texas, each of the parties may have concerns about having assets properly classified and appraised, and one or both parties might have worries about the other spouse attempting to hide valuable assets so that they are not divided in the divorce. As you may know, under Texas law, nearly all assets acquired by either spouse after the date of marriage are considered to be “community property,” and they will be distributed between the parties in the divorce. There are many different methods for preventing a spouse from hiding assets in a divorce, and for revealing hidden assets when one of the spouses has attempted to conceal those assets.

One way that an aggressive Texas high asset divorce attorney can help is by using the process of discovery to prevent assets from being hidden or can help to uncover assets. We want to tell you more about discovery, and how some of the tools of the discovery process can help you in your high net worth divorce.

What Is Discovery in Texas?

The Texas Rules of Civil Procedure govern most matters pertaining to discovery. To be clear, discovery is a procedure in all types of lawsuits, including civil lawsuits for divorce, through which both sides can obtain information from the other side. Discovery is a process that has a wide variety of tools or mechanisms through which the other side can get evidence. Sometimes those mechanisms involve one side asking the other for specific information about a question, and sometimes the discovery process involves requesting materials or documents from the other side.

...

TX divorce lawyerDivorces can be extremely contentious regardless of the income levels of the spouses or the amount of assets they share. However, high net worth divorces in Texas often are among the most contentious, given that the parties have more to lose financially than other couples who are going through the divorce process. When one or both parties realize that divorce is likely in their futures, issues about hidden assets may start to arise. If you have concerns about your spouse hiding property or trying to prevent certain assets from being classified as community property, you should reach out to a Texas high asset divorce attorney as soon as possible. At Powers and Kerr, PLLC, we routinely assist clients with this very issue and can discuss options for working with a forensic accountant to locate hidden assets.

In the meantime, we want to provide you with some useful information about recognizing when a spouse may be trying to hide assets before a divorce.

Why Would a Spouse Attempt to Hide Assets?

Why would any spouse in Austin, Texas try to hide assets before a divorce case? As you may know, Texas is a community property state. What this means is that, under Texas law, nearly all property acquired by either spouse after the date of the marriage will be classified as community property and will be subject to division in the divorce case. A spouse might try to hide assets to prevent those assets from being classified as community property and divided. There are many different ways that people can try to hide assets, and it is important to recognize the signs. If you do have concerns, you should speak with your divorce lawyer as soon as possible.

...
Super Lawyers Super Lawyers TBLS AV Martindale
Avvo Top One Expert Top 10 Law Firm
Back to Top