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TX divorce lawyerHigh asset divorces in Austin, Texas are different from other divorces in many different ways. One significant distinction is that high net worth divorces almost always involve various types of complex property that must be classified and, in many cases, divided between the spouses according to Texas community property laws. If you are planning to file for divorce, or if you are in the early stages of your Austin divorce, you may already know that Texas is what is known as a “community property” state. Accordingly, most property acquired after the date of marriage will be classified as community property, and it will be divided between the spouses in a manner that the court determines to be “just and right.”

Classifying and dividing certain types of property can be extremely complicated, however, and high net worth divorce cases usually involve a substantial amount of complex property. The following are some of the common types of complex property that you may need to consider in your Texas divorce. And if you need assistance, you should know that an aggressive Austin high asset divorce attorney can represent you.

Rare Art, Books, Music, Artifacts, and Other Collectible Items

In Austin, many married couples share a home full of interesting collections, such as local art, rare books and music, and other artifacts. Collections made up of objects like these can be complicated to classify and divide in a divorce for many reasons.

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TX custody lawyerIn a high asset divorce in Texas involving minor children from the marriage, each spouse’s assets may not be equal, and the lesser earning spouse may worry that income or assets could impact the court’s child custody decision. To put it another way, in high net worth divorces where one of the spouses is the high earner or has significant family money, the other spouse might have concerns about whether a relative lack of income and assets could mean that she or he will not be eligible for child custody.

It is important for parents to know that the Texas Family Code provides guidance for making child custody determinations (known as conservatorships in Texas), and the focus of any child custody order is the “best interest of the child” standard. To be clear, Texas courts take into account a wide variety of factors in deciding what type of child custody situation is in the child’s best interests. While a parent’s income or assets could play a role in some of those factors, it is essential to know that a parent’s earning ability or relative assets are not a factor for deciding who will be a conservator for the child. A Texas high net worth divorce attorney can say more.

Texas Public Policy Focuses on Both Parents’ Rights When it Comes to Their Kids

The Texas Family Code makes clear that it is “public policy of this state” to do all of the following:

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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.

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TX divorce lawyerIf you are planning to file for divorce in Texas and you know that you and your spouse have not reached an agreement about how your assets will be divided, the prospect of property division can be anxiety-inducing and complicated. Dividing assets is especially complex in high asset or high net worth divorces, where married couples own substantial amounts of valuable property in many different forms. In such cases, those parties may want to take steps to prevent the court from making the final decision about how their community property will be divided. You may know that divorcing spouses can agree to a property settlement agreement in which they determine how their community property will be divided.

However, if you are involved in a contentious separation or divorce with your spouse, you may be wondering how you could ever get to the point of reaching a property settlement agreement. Family law mediation may be beneficial. We want to tell you more about how mediation can help in such cases, and to emphasize that an experienced Texas high net worth divorce lawyer can assist with your case.

Mediation Can Cost Less Money in the Long Run

For couples expecting a high net worth divorce, mediation can be particularly helpful because it can allow the parties to save a significant amount of money that otherwise would be spent on court hearings in which the court must classify property as separate or community property, value it (which can be particularly time-consuming and complicated for the variety of assets held in high asset divorces), and distribute the property according to Texas law. With mediation, the spouses may be able to reach an agreement on a shorter timetable and at less cost.

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TX divorce lawyerMany couples in Austin, Texas with significant assets own property outside the state of Texas. In some cases, a couple may even have international assets, such as real estate or bank accounts. While these types of property are not as common in divorces involving middle-class couples, high net worth divorces in Texas often do have assets located in other states and other countries. When assets are located outside of Texas, this fact alone does not mean that they will not be subject to division. Rather, any assets, regardless of where they are located, will need to be classified and, if they are community property, divided between the spouses.

We want to provide you with more information about handling out-of-state property in a Texas high net worth divorce. An aggressive Austin high asset divorce attorney can discuss the specific details of your case with you today.

Out-of-State Property Must Be Classified

If you and your spouse both live in Austin or at least you both live in the state of Texas, you may be wondering whether valuable property that is located outside the state — either in another U.S. state or in an international location — will need to be identified when you go through the divorce process. Texas law makes clear that any assets owned by the spouses need to be properly identified and classified. In other words, when you list the property you own so that the court can determine whether it should be classified as community property (and thus subject to division) or separate property (and thus not subject to division), you do need to list out-of-state assets.

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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.

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TX divorce lawyerWhen parents in Austin decide to file for divorce and they have minor children together, the divorce process often gets more complicated. These complications tend to be even more amplified in high net worth divorces in Texas where the children attend expensive private schools and participate in high-priced extracurricular activities. For example, in and around Austin, many parents pay for their children to participate in a variety of sports, and kids may participate on travel sports teams that require additional expenses. Other kinds of extracurricular activities and hobbies can also be extremely expensive, from classical music lessons to equestrian sports.

Texas child support laws are streamlined based on a noncustodial parent’s average monthly net income, and they do not take into account the costly extracurricular activities and sports that are common for kids in high asset families, nor does Texas law allow a court to add onto a child support obligation for private school expenses. We will tell you more about how child support laws do work in Texas, and we will say more about how parents ultimately can ensure that their kids can remain in their current school and extracurricular activities despite the divorce.

Texas Courts Calculate Child Support Based on Income and Number of Children

Regardless of the income or assets of either parent in a Texas high net worth divorce case, the court will use the formula for calculating child support set by Texas law. Under the Texas Family Code, the following is the calculation that the court will use to determine the noncustodial parent’s child support obligation:

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TX high asset lawyerIf you are planning to file for a high asset divorce in Austin, or if you or your spouse recently filed for divorce in Texas, we know that you likely have questions about what the division of community property will look like when your investments, including mutual funds and stocks, are worth much less than they were even a month ago. You may be wondering if it could make sense to put your divorce on hold until the stock market resurges, or you might be thinking that you could end up faring better in the long run if you can ensure that community property from your marriage gets divided before the stock market resurges. Divorces are stressful enough without the added anxiety of a declining stock market and a global pandemic.

We want to discuss some of the issues concerning high net worth divorce when the stock market is in decline. If you have questions or need assistance with your divorce during this complicated time, an experienced Texas complex litigation attorney at our firm.

Benefiting and Suffering from Falling Stocks During Your Divorce Case

Depending upon the types of investments you have, some spouses could stand to benefit while the other spouse suffers from falling stock prices during a divorce in Texas. One of the spouses might have specialized knowledge about investments while the other spouse has none of that knowledge at all, and the first spouse might use that knowledge to his or her advantage in order to come out with a community property distribution or settlement that stands to benefit that spouse in the long run.

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