8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Building 2, Suite 2105,
Austin, TX 78759

Call Us512-610-6199

Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Texas divorce laws

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 lawyerWhen we think about “gray divorce” in Austin, Texas, we often consider studies that suggest older adults will face more financial difficulties if they decide to file for divorce. However, it is not as common to consider gray divorce in the context of a high asset or high net worth divorce. If a couple has accumulated substantial assets during the marriage and has multi-million dollar investments, does gray divorce really pose the same types of financial risks as a gray divorce involving a middle-class couple? We want to explore some of the financial issues that are common in gray divorces and to consider them in relation to high net worth couples in Texas.

If you are planning for a divorce after a long-term marriage, you should know that a Texas high asset divorce attorney at Powers and Kerr, PLLC can help.

Common Financial Issues in a Gray Divorce

If you have read anything about gray divorce recently, you probably know that much of the research suggests that older couples who get divorced will experience some financial difficulties. To be sure, gray divorce can be particularly hazardous to your emotional and financial health, far worse than doing so at younger ages. For many people, divorce after age 50 is a major financial shock.

...

TX divorce lawyerDivorcing couples with unique, diverse, or especially valuable assets face a host of unique issues. For instance, many high asset divorces require couples to decide the fate of multiple properties, including not only the family home but also vacation homes and investment properties. This can be a complicated process, so if you are going through a divorce and have been unable to come to an agreement about who will retain ownership of one or more vacation properties, it is important to contact an experienced high asset divorce attorney who will aggressively represent your interests, whether during negotiations or in the courtroom.

How Are Assets Categorized During Divorce in Texas?

Texas is a community property state, which means that only assets that were acquired during a marriage must be divided in the event of divorce. When it comes to real estate, this is true regardless of whose name is on a title or deed. Unlike community assets, separate property is any property that was owned by either spouse before the marriage took place. The only exceptions to these rule apply in cases of inheritance, in which case, a person’s assets can be considered separate property even if they were acquired during the marriage.

Vacation Homes as Community Property

Under these rules, whether a couple’s vacation home needs to be divided upon divorce would depend on when it was purchased. If it was acquired during the marriage, both parties would have rights to a share in the property. This could take the form of one spouse retaining sole ownership of the family home, while the other took up residence in the vacation home. Alternatively, the couple could decide to sell the property and divide the proceeds.

...

TX divorce lawyerAll Texas divorces must be conducted in compliance with state law. However, this doesn’t mean that all divorces are the same. High asset divorces, in particular, come with unique issues. For this reason, it is especially important for those with significant, unique, or diverse assets who have decided to dissolve their marriages, to retain an experienced high asset divorce attorney who is well-versed in these issues and can ensure that their interests and rights are protected.

Financial Complication

One of the most difficult parts of the divorce process is deciding how assets will be divided. This is especially true for those with significant assets who don’t have a prenuptial agreement, as the process of identifying, appraising, and attempting to divide property is much more complex. In these cases, it is not uncommon for couples to have rare or unique property, such as real estate, antiques, artwork, and jewelry, that is both difficult to appraise and divide. It is also much easier in these situations for one spouse to try to hide specific assets, which is both unlawful and could result in an unfair property settlement agreement.

Emotional Implications

Even when a couple has an amicable relationship, going through a divorce is stressful. In many cases, these high emotions are only fueled in high asset divorces, as there is simply more to fight over. It’s also not uncommon for one spouse to have more knowledge of finances and property ownership, in which case, the other party could end up with an unfair settlement if the more financially knowledgeable spouse failed to disclose the ownership of certain property. This, in turn, can make the divorce process even more emotional for the wronged party.

...

TX divorce lawyerWhether an agreement is reached in an out-of-court setting through negotiation, or as the result of litigation and a court order, the terms of any finalized divorce decree must be followed. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for one of the parties to refuse to comply with certain terms, especially in regards to property division. In these situations, courts can step in and enforce a property settlement following divorce, so if your former spouse is refusing to comply with a court order by failing to turn over certain assets, it is critical to retain an experienced high asset divorce attorney who can help you seek a request for relief from the court.

Enforcing a Temporary Property Division Order

During many divorces, the parties are required to address temporary property-related issues while the divorce is pending, such as: who will retain the family home, who will be responsible for paying certain bills and expenses, and who will cover debts, such as loans, credit cards, and lease payments. To address these matters, a court may issue a temporary order that has some or all of the following effects:

  • Restrains one spouse from damaging or selling certain property;
  • Requires an inventory and appraisal of all community and separate property;
  • Prohibits the parties from wasting marital assets; and
  • Assigns responsibility for certain household expenses and childcare costs.

These temporary orders play a critical role in helping spouses resolve certain issues during divorce, but also provide the grounds for an enforcement action if one spouse fails to comply with the terms. Temporary orders are as legally binding as final orders, so when one party fails to abide by their terms, the court can intervene by transferring liability, ordering eviction, foreclosure, or wage garnishment, or holding the non-compliant party in contempt.

...

TX high asset divorce lawyerAlthough ensuring that your assets are secure is one of the most important aspects of any divorce, it is especially true for those with substantial or unique property. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps that Texas residents can take to protect their assets, so if you are thinking about filing for divorce, it is critical to speak with an experienced high asset divorce lawyer who can explain your legal options.

Listing Your Assets

One of the most crucial steps that divorcing couples should take is determining which assets belong to whom. This is because Texas is an equitable distribution state, which means that only marital assets must be divided equitably upon divorce. Separate property, or assets that belong to one spouse alone, however, can remain in the sole possession of the original owner. For this reason, providing proof of when and how an asset was purchased is critical to the property division process. In fact, a spouse who can prove that he or she received a particular asset as part of a gift or an inheritance can retain that asset, even if it was obtained during the marriage.

...

TX divorce lawyerCouples with significant or diverse assets are often forced to grapple with legal issues that don’t apply in most divorce cases. This can make the divorce process not only more complicated, but also more acrimonious, especially when it comes to valuing the family home, so if you are thinking about filing for divorce and have substantial real estate holdings, you should consider contacting an experienced Round Rock high asset divorce attorney who can ensure that your property is appraised by a qualified expert.

Comparable Sales

For a marital estate to be fairly divided, the value of a couple’s property must be accurately assessed. When it comes to real estate, this usually means that the parties will need to hire an appraiser who can estimate value based on current market conditions and recent sales of comparable properties in the area. When dealing with especially valuable properties, the appraisal process also often includes consideration of additional features of the property in question, which could make it more valuable than other similar properties. Unfortunately, valuing the unique features of a property can be a subjective process. For example, one appraiser may include the value of a swimming pool or a four car garage, but fail to take note of marble countertops or custom kitchen appliances during the appraisal process. For this reason, most couples going through a high asset divorce are encouraged to obtain multiple appraisals to ensure that an accurate number is reached.

...

Texas divorce lawyerMany couples who decide to get divorced have not even heard of the acceptance of benefits doctrine and so don’t know that it could play a significant role in their divorce proceedings. According to this doctrine, litigants are not permitted to accept the benefits of a property settlement and then later decide to challenge it. The only exception to this rule is when the litigant can provide proof that the ruling should be overturned due to special circumstances. This is a difficult task, so if you formerly accepted a property settlement, but later decided to challenge it, you should strongly consider contacting an experienced Round Rock high asset divorce attorney who can explain your legal options.

What Is the Acceptance of Benefits Doctrine?

Just last year, the Texas Supreme Court grappled with the acceptance of benefits doctrine in the case of Kramer v. Kastleman, which involved a couple who had signed a property settlement agreement prior to their divorce. The judge later orally approved the agreement and granted a divorce, although he didn’t issue a written decree until almost a year later. However, before the written decree was issued, the wife rescinded her earlier agreement to the settlement, arguing that her former husband coerced her signature and so committed fraud.

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