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Collin County Property Distribution AttorneyIf you are getting divorced, you probably have hundreds of questions. You may wonder how you and your soon-to-be-ex will divide the contents of your bank accounts or handle ownership of the family vehicles. You may question who will keep the marital home, furniture, and other tangible property. You may also have business interests, investments, and retirement accounts that will need to be dealt with. Property division can be a complicated and contentious issue during a Texas divorce. A divorce lawyer can help.

Marital Settlement Agreements: Determining Property Division Outside of Court

Each divorce case is different. The complexity of the property division process is largely based on the types of assets spouses’ own and their ability to reach an agreement on how to divide those assets. Some spouses are able to reach a property distribution settlement without the court’s involvement. Many negotiate a property division arrangement through their lawyers and formalize their decision in the marital settlement agreement.

Property Division and Texas Courts

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to reach a settlement and avoid court intervention. This is especially true when one spouse tries to hide assets or otherwise refuses to cooperate with property division negotiations. If the court determines property division, it will follow Texas community property laws. Any property and debt accumulated during the marriage is considered jointly owned by both spouses. Separate property, property owned by only one spouse, is usually assigned to that spouse.

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Frisco Spousal Support LawyerWhether you are just thinking about divorce, or you have already filed the divorce paperwork with the court, you may understandably have questions about the divorce’s impact on your finances. Spousal maintenance can help offset the negative financial consequences of divorce. However, alimony or spousal maintenance is only available in certain circumstances. If you are interested in pursuing spousal maintenance during your divorce or you think your spouse will ask for spousal maintenance, contact a skilled divorce lawyer for help.

You May Be Able to Negotiate an Alimony Agreement

Spouses may be able to negotiate an agreement about the terms of spousal maintenance payments during the divorce process. Often, one spouse will receive certain assets in exchange for paying spousal maintenance to the other. For example, you may be able to negotiate a spousal maintenance arrangement that trades maintenance payments for business interests, stocks, or other assets.

The Court May Award Alimony in Limited Circumstances

If you cannot reach a spousal maintenance agreement with your spouse, you may be able to petition the court for spousal maintenance. However, Texas courts only award spousal maintenance in certain circumstances. You may qualify for alimony if you demonstrate a genuine financial need, and one of the following is true:

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Collin County Divorce LawyerWhen a couple gets married, we typically think of it as an emotional or romantic union, not a financial union. However, getting married does entangle the spouses’ finances considerably. During a divorce, the spouses’ property and debts will be divided. However, each spouse must be fully transparent about his or her assets, income, and debts in order for property division to be accurate. Some spouses try to manipulate their divorce outcome by hiding assets.  

Financial Fraud is Fraud on the Community

Texas divorce cases are subject to community property laws. This means that property acquired during the marriage is the property of both spouses. Both spouses are entitled to a portion of the marital estate during property division in a divorce – save for a few exceptions. Separate property is not divided. However, the amount of separate property a spouse owns can still influence the divorce case. Each spouse’s income and overall financial circumstances heavily influence issues like child support and alimony. Some divorcing spouses try to sway divorce issues in their favor by lying about income and assets. They may do so to gain a financial advantage or to “get revenge” on their spouse. Hiding assets in this way is considered “fraud on the community” by Texas law.

Sneaky Ways Spouses Manipulate Financial Information in a Divorce Content

There are many ways spouses may try to hide assets in a divorce. Some use business interests or investments to conceal money. Business owners may delay invoicing clients, fabricate business expenses or debts, or lie about the value of the business. Other spouses hide assets by hiding physical cash or valuables like jewelry. They may use a safety deposit box to hide assets or transfer assets to a friend or family member. Some spouses even overpay the IRS to evade a fair division of property. Once the divorce is over, they recoup the money through a tax refund.

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Frisco High-Asset Divorce AttorneyWhen you are going through a divorce, all of the financial assets you acquired throughout your marriage can be affected by the division of marital property. This can be especially concerning to business owners, who may be at risk of losing their business, or at least a substantial share of it. If you have business assets to divide in your divorce, it is important to work with an experienced attorney who can help you protect them as much as possible.

One important step in determining how a business will be handled in a Texas divorce is obtaining a business valuation. However, different types of businesses may need to be valued in different ways, and you should be sure to understand the option that best applies to your circumstances.

Understanding Different Business Valuation Methods

Not all businesses are created equal. For the purposes of business valuation in a divorce, a publicly-traded business may need to be valued very differently from a closely-held family business, for example. Your attorney can help you work with a knowledgeable financial professional to determine the most appropriate valuation method for your business. Options include:

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