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TX divorce lawyerIt can be difficult, in today’s world, to imagine living our day to day lives without having at least one credit card. While credit cards can be a good way to improve credit and allow for more flexible spending, they can also pose specific difficulties during divorce. This is especially true for couples who are involved in high asset divorces, which often involve various joint credit cards and accounts, so if you and your spouse have decided to file for divorce and both of your names are on multiple bank accounts or credit cards, it is important to speak with an experienced high asset divorce lawyer who can ensure that you are not saddled with more than your fair share of debt.

The Downside of Owning Joint Credit Cards

Although there are a number of benefits to owning a joint credit card with a spouse, there are also a few downsides, which usually reveal themselves during divorce. For instance, it is not unheard of for one spouse to end up on the hook for charges that he or she did not authorize. While this may be troublesome during a marriage, it can wreak havoc on a person’s post-divorce finances, as the last thing newly divorced couples need is to be saddled with more debt.

Separating one’s credit cards from those of their spouse in the first stages of divorce is one of the best ways to avoid these types of problems. In some cases, this will require canceling the cards, although if the parties have an amicable relationship this may not be necessary. Instead, one party can just have his or her name removed from the account and the other party can request a change of account number.

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TX divorce lawyerIt’s usually a good idea for those who are going through a divorce, especially couples with unique or valuable assets, to sit down and make a list of all unusual assets that might otherwise get left off a list of marital property. To ensure that all of your own property is accounted for and that any property settlement agreements that are presented to you and your spouse are fair to both parties, please contact a member of our Leander high asset divorce legal team today.

Unusual Assets

A couple’s marital assets usually consist of any property that was earned or brought into the home during the marriage itself. In fact, some separate property, which is made up of assets that were brought into a marriage, can become marital assets if they are commingled with marital property. While most couples remember to account for the family home, vehicles, real estate, and bank accounts when creating a list of their marital assets, it is not uncommon for a family to forget to list and value more unusual assets, such as:

  • Animals, including not only the family pet, but also livestock;
  • Memberships to gyms, golf courses, and country clubs;
  • Benefits from previous employers, such as pensions and retirement accounts;
  • Pre-paid cemetery plots;
  • Capital loss carryovers for prior tax returns;
  • Life insurance plans;
  • Interest acquired from loans made to relatives or friends;
  • Digital assets, including not only websites and blogs, but also cyber currency, such as Bitcoin;
  • Trademarks and patents;
  • Airline reward points, such as frequent flyer miles;
  • Credit card reward points;
  • Royalties;
  • Timeshare interests; and
  • The contents of a safe deposit box.

Even valuable assets in the family home can be overlooked during divorce, including:

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TX divorce lawyerDuring Texas divorces, a couple’s marital property is subject to division. In most cases, this means that divorcing spouses must grapple with who will retain a variety of assets ranging from houses and vehicles to financial assets, such as bank accounts and pensions. Of these types of assets, financial property is often the most difficult to divide. This is especially true for pensions, the status of which depends on when the pension was acquired and whether a pre-existing agreement is in place. For help determining whether your own pension qualifies as marital property and whether you can expect a portion of those payments upon divorce, please contact a member of our high asset divorce legal team today.

Community Property States

Texas is one of only nine community property jurisdictions, which means that almost all assets acquired by a couple during their marriage are considered to belong equally to both parties if they later decide to divorce. The assumption in most cases is that these assets will be divided 50/50 between the parties. This rule applies to physical property, such as real estate and personal possessions, as well as financial assets like retirement accounts and pensions.

Marital vs. Separate Property

In general, retirement assets earned during a marriage are treated as marital property, including:

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Texas divorce lawyerOwning a business with a spouse is a relatively common practice, and while many of these types of businesses are successful and lucrative, they can also raise a host of complicated issues in the event of a divorce. This is because couples who own companies together must grapple with dividing the business if they later decide to dissolve their marriage, which can be difficult if both parties wish to retain an active role in management or there is disagreement regarding the value of the company itself. For help addressing the fate of your own company after divorce, please contact a member of our high asset divorce legal team for advice.

The Importance of Business Appraisals

The first step in these types of cases is to determine the value of the business in question, as this will affect how and whether the company should be divided between the spouses. Like any other asset, there are professionals who specialize in appraising businesses. These individuals assist divorcing couples who own a business together by determining the fair market value of the company, which refers to the amount that a buyer would be willing to pay for a business from a seller who wants to sell but is under no necessity to do so.

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Texas divorce lawyerAlthough most people associate divorce with child custody issues, alimony, or deciding who will keep the marital home, many couples who jointly own a family business must also divide the company itself. This requires an in-depth valuation of the business, as well as a determination of whether the company is actually jointly owned. Furthermore, once a couple’s business interests have been appraised and the parties have agreed to a settlement, the business’s actual division will need to take place, which can be difficult, especially for couples with an acrimonious relationship. For help determining the value of your own business and coming to a settlement agreement with your spouse, please contact one of our experienced high asset divorce attorneys today.

Initial Considerations

Before deciding on how to divide a business during divorce proceedings, the couple in question must consider a variety of factors, including:

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Texas high asset divorce attorney, Texas complex divorce lawyerOne of the most contentious issues faced by many couples going through a divorce is who will retain ownership of the family home. Texas is a community property state, which means that all assets acquired by a couple during their marriage must be divided equitably upon divorce. The family home falls under this category as well, which means that if a couple is unable to come to an agreement outside of court, a judge will need to devise an equitable arrangement. Property division is a complicated legal issue, which can be made even more complex by the emotionally charged nature of many divorces, so if you are considering a divorce and have concerns about property division, it is important to contact an experienced complex divorce attorney who can explain your options.

Community Property

All property acquired during a marriage will need to be divided during a divorce, including:

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Texas high asset divorce attorney, Texas complex litigation lawyer, hidden assets, Constructive fraud is quite common in high net worth divorce cases. Many times, these matters involve long-term marriages which slowly deteriorated over a period of several years, giving the spouses ample opportunity to surreptitiously redirect community funds. There is also a compounding factor; for example, Wife may think little of giving children from a prior marriage a few hundred dollars a month without Husband's knowledge, but over the years, the community estate may lose tens of thousands of dollars.

In decades past, a separate tort lawsuit was about the only option for recovery of these funds. These cases are difficult to file, due to statute of limitations issues, and difficult to win, because of different evidentiary requirements. Moreover, even if they have substantial incomes, many Texans are essentially judgement proof. But the law recently changed, and fraud victims now have a remedy within the divorce procedure itself.

Reconstitution

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Texas high asset divorce attorney, Texas complex litigation attorney, Texas divorce laws, Although there is nearly always some overlap, most assets in a high net worth divorce fall into one of two general categories. Some property items, primarily things like securities brokerage accounts and retirement nest eggs, are prized mostly for their economic value. Others, such as a primary residence or vacation property, have a greater emotional value.

A family business is one of the rarer items that is very much a mixture of both these elements. In many cases, a business is a couple's primary source of income, or even the only such resource, so it has tremendous economic value for both the husband and wife. At the same time, especially if it was founded during the marriage, both parties have a great deal of "sweat equity" in the endeavor.

What Happens to the Business?

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