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TX divorce lawyerDuring a high net worth divorce, couples will need to address multiple different types of assets, including financial accounts, vehicles, jewelry, furniture, valuable artwork or collectibles, and family businesses. Real estate, including the marital home, vacation homes, or commercial properties, are often among the most valuable assets owned by a couple, and complex property litigation may be needed to determine how the division of this property will be handled. During the divorce process, spouses should be sure to understand their rights regarding real estate property and the legal and financial issues that they may need to address.

Community Property Vs. Separate Property

The first thing to consider when addressing real estate is determining whether it is considered community property or separate property. Community property includes any assets acquired by either spouse during their marriage, and Texas law requires these assets to be divided equally during a divorce.

A home or other real estate property purchased during a couple’s marriage will be considered community property, while real estate owned by one spouse before getting married will usually be considered separate property that will remain in the possession of that spouse. However, these issues can become more complex if a spouse contributed toward an increase in the value of the other spouse’s separate property during their marriage.

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TX divorce lawyerMany couples who decide to file for divorce are willing to communicate openly and honestly about their assets in an effort to ensure that their divorce is resolved as smoothly and as amicably as possible. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, especially in high asset divorces when valuable property is at stake. In these cases, it is not uncommon for one spouse to try and hide assets from the other in an effort to avoid reaching a fair property settlement. If you believe that your spouse is hiding assets in order to avoid dividing them equitably upon divorce, you should speak with an experienced high asset divorce attorney who can help you determine your next steps.

Why Hiding Assets Is Problematic

Texas is a community property state, which means that most family law courts divide marital assets owned by a divorcing couple fairly and equally upon dissolution of the marriage. Hiding assets makes this endeavor nearly impossible and could leave one spouse struggling financially after the divorce is finalized. Unfortunately, this type of conduct is particularly common in high asset divorce cases, where one spouse wants to keep a unique or valuable asset to him or herself.

What Are the Penalties for Hiding Assets in Texas?

Because hiding assets is so detrimental to the process of creating a fair property settlement, Texas courts impose severe penalties on those who attempt to defraud their spouses in this way. For instance, a divorce judge who is confronted with evidence of concealed assets could order the at-fault party to give up the asset to the other spouse or could award a greater share of the community assets to the innocent party. Parties who choose to hide assets during divorce could even face charges from the IRS if those actions had tax implications.

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