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Tips for the lower-earning spouse in a high-asset divorce

| Jul 6, 2020 | Divorce |

In a Texas high-asset divorce, the higher-earning spouse might know significantly more about the couple’s finances than the other person. It can be important for the spouse who is earning less to find out as much as possible about the family finances.

An attorney who is accustomed to working with high-asset divorces may be helpful in connecting the spouse with professionals who can assist them, such as forensic accountants. The attorney might also be able to recommend an appraiser to determine the value of a business or other assets. The lower-earning spouse should gather as many documents related to finances as possible. If the other spouse is trying to hide assets and has destroyed documents, even empty envelopes might be helpful in tracing where funds are being held. In addition to identifying what assets exist for property division, establishing the total income of the higher-earning spouse is important because the lower-earning person might also be asking for support.

The lower-earning spouse may not know what kind of expenditures the family has, or the higher-earning spouse might be inflating the amount in order to hide money. Once income and assets are established, the lower-earning spouse should be reasonable in the amount asked for. The monthly payment should not be hugely in excess of what the person needed to maintain their lifestyle during the marriage.

In Texas, a community property state, marital property is supposed to be split equally. However, if the couple is negotiating out of court, they do not necessarily have to split the assets 50/50. They might reach an agreement in which each person keeps certain assets. Negotiation can cost less and leaves the outcome in the hands of the divorcing couple rather than a judge. However, litigation may be necessary if one person was not forthcoming with financial information or tried to hide assets.