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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.

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TX high asset divorce lawyerWhile the art scene in Austin is not quite like the art scenes in New York or London, many Austin residents have large collections of valuable artwork, including sculptures, paintings, and other art objects. Many married couples in Austin collect art together, and their homes are filled with their collection. In the event such a married couple decides to get divorced, the matter of the art collection can become extremely contentious. Dividing an art collection can be quite a battle, especially when the parties do not want to see the collection divided at all. To be sure, many people who collect art feel that the collection is priceless and do not want to see any of it sold or distributed. Yet in a high asset divorce in Austin, all community property will need to be distributed between the spouses. And while the parties may personally believe that the collection is priceless, it is possible to place a market value on almost any work of art for the purposes of dividing it in a divorce. Let our Texas high asset divorce lawyers tell you more about dividing art collections in a Texas divorce.

Recognize That the Whole Collection May Be Community Property

As you may know, Texas is a community property state. What does this mean for a high asset divorce and an expensive art collection? Under Texas law, nearly all property (aside from a few exceptions) acquired after the date of the marriage is classified as “community property.” In a Texas divorce, all community property is divided between the spouses. For many married couples in Austin who have been collecting art for years or even decades, most if not all of the collection is likely to be classified as community property and will be divided as part of the divorce.

Determine the Date of Purchase and Other Documentation

If you believe that one or more pieces in the art collection are not community property, you will need to get documentation to prove it. If you purchased the painting prior to the marriage, it is important to find any receipts you have for the piece. Even if you cannot locate a receipt, it may be possible to work with your Austin divorce attorney to gather evidence that proves the painting was in your possession long before you got married and that, accordingly, it should not be part of the division of community property.

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TX high asset divorceIf you are planning for a high net worth divorce in Texas and have children from your marriage, you are probably worrying about how they will fare emotionally. Generally speaking, children from higher-income households tend to do better in school and tend to have more educational opportunities. However, according to a recent study, a family’s income level might not be a deciding factor when a child’s parents get divorced. To be sure, parental divorce, often regardless of the parents’ income level, leads kids to have a lower grade point average and to struggle, at least in the short term, in school.

Whether you have questions about high net worth divorce in Austin, TX generally or specific questions about kids in an Austin divorce, a Texas high asset divorce lawyer at our firm can help.

Your Child’s Education May Suffer Temporarily Due to Divorce

According to the recent study, children and adolescents with divorced or separated parents do less well in school than adolescents with non-divorced parents. Indeed, at least in the short term, teens with recently divorced parents had a GPA that was lower by 0.3 points, on average, than kids with non-divorced parents. Yet it is important to remember that these effects usually are limited, and as long as parents commit to their child’s education, a GPA can bounce back.

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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.

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Posted on in Child Support

TX high asset divorce lawyerChild support in a high asset divorce can work a bit differently than child support for a low-income family or a middle-class family. While Texas’s child support law still applies, the calculation for and amount of child support will likely be quite different. If you are anticipating a high net worth divorce in Austin, Texas, it is important to discuss all aspects of the divorce process with an aggressive Texas high asset divorce lawyer. In the meantime, we want to say more about child support in Texas and how high net worth parents should be thinking about child support in relation to their divorce.

General Information About Texas Child Support Laws

Before we explain how a high asset couple should be thinking about child support in their divorce, it is essential to understand how child support works under Texas law. First, Texas is one of only a handful of states that still uses a “percentage of income” model. While a number of states have shifted to an “income shares” model in which both parents’ incomes are used to calculate a total child support obligation, Texas only uses the income of the obligor parent’s income (the parent ordered to pay child support) to calculate the child support obligation.

In Texas, courts take a flat percentage of the obligor parent’s income as the child support amount. That flat percentage is based on the total number of children for which the obligor parent is providing support. The guidelines look like this:

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TX high asset divorce lawyerWhile many high net worth divorces in Texas involve spouses with nearly equal earning power or separate assets, a significant number of high asset divorces also involve spouses where only one was the primary earner during the marriage. Whether the other spouse was a stay-at-home parent or simply earned significantly less in the marriage, the prospect of divorce can be extremely daunting for that spouse. Although gender roles are shifting, the non-primary earner spouse often ends up being a woman. And many women who go through high asset divorces in this position do not take all the steps they can to position themselves well financially. It is particularly important for women to consult with financial advisors more often than they do and to work with a divorce attorney who has experience handling high net worth cases.

The following are some of the reasons women should consider a financial advisor in a high net worth divorce. If you need help with your divorce case or have questions about financial matters, an experienced Austin high asset divorce attorney at our firm can speak with you today.

Not Enough Women Work with Financial Experts, But They Should

According to a new study, women do not work with financial advisors and other financial experts nearly as often as they should in divorce cases. This is even true for women who are non-primary earners who are going through high asset divorces. Indeed, over 95 percent of women do not use a financial advisor when going through a divorce despite having financial goals they want to achieve.

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TX high asset divorce lawyerWhat makes a high asset divorce in Austin, TX  a high asset divorce? In other words, how much money does a married couple need to have in order to be considered to have a high net worth divorce? And when a married couple is anticipating a high asset divorce, how might the case differ depending upon the source of the assets and the likelihood that one or both spouses will continue to contribute to those assets in the future, even after they are divided as community property?

To be clear, not all high asset divorces are the same. For example, some involve two spouses who have both contributed significant assets to their community property through high-paying careers and family inheritances, while some involve scenarios in which only one of the spouses was the primary source of the monetary assets that make up the community property. These divorce cases can look quite different from one another, and the experienced Austin high asset divorce attorneys at our firm want to tell you more.

Both Spouses Were High Earners During the Marriage

When both spouses were high earners during the marriage, the prospect of dividing certain types of community assets under Texas law, such as retirement benefits or stock options, may not be as daunting since both parties likely anticipate that they will continue earning a substantial paycheck and benefits after the divorce and may not actually see any of those benefits transferred directly to a spouse. Moreover, when both spouses are high earners, the matter of alimony or spousal maintenance is often much less of a concern.

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TX divorce lawyerWhen you are thinking about the financial issues and economic realities of a high asset divorce in Austin, Texas, one of the things you may be considering is whether it makes sense to stay in your marital home or to sell the property and share the profits. First, you will need to determine whether the home is likely to be classified as community property. If so, it is important to consider all factors in determining whether it makes sense to keep the property. Our Austin high asset divorce lawyers will say more about the complications of keeping a marital home after a high asset divorce.

Is the Marital Home Community Property?

Before you start to consider whether it could make sense to negotiate a property settlement in which you keep the house, you will need to know first whether the house is even likely to be classified as community property.

As you likely know, Texas is a community property state. Accordingly, under Texas law, courts divide community property (or property of the marriage) between the spouses, while usually, separate property is not divided. For many Austin couples, the marital home is considered community property or, at least, part of the value of the home is community property. While a number of Texas couples purchase a home together after they are married, there are a variety of ways that a marital home may have characteristics of both community property and separate property. For example, if a couple uses separate funds to place a down payment on the house but makes mortgage payments from community funds, commingling has occurred and the types of property will need to be traced out.

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