An update on COVID-19 Precautions
 
In response to concerns about coronavirus in North Texas, we are minimizing face-to-face contact for your safety and peace of mind. Since most interactions, including consultations, can be handled by phone or email, we request that you assist us in limiting in-person contact unless you require a personal meeting. Will executions continue to be handled in the office while maintaining as safe a distance as possible. For those concerned about payments, we can accept payments via phone and mailed checks.
 
The welfare of our staff and clients is of utmost importance, as is continuing to provide the highest level of legal service. Thank you for allowing us to assist you and others in this time of uncertainty.
An update on COVID-19 Precautions
 
In response to concerns about coronavirus in North Texas, we are minimizing face-to-face contact for your safety and peace of mind. Since most interactions, including consultations, can be handled by phone or email, we request that you assist us in limiting in-person contact unless you require a personal meeting. Will executions continue to be handled in the office while maintaining as safe a distance as possible. For those concerned about payments, we can accept payments via phone and mailed checks.
 
The welfare of our staff and clients is of utmost importance, as is continuing to provide the highest level of legal service. Thank you for allowing us to assist you and others in this time of uncertainty.

Guiding You Through Complex Legal Matters

Guiding You Through Complex Legal Matters

During divorce, the discovery process may uncover hidden assets

| Feb 25, 2021 | Firm News

In Texas, most types of assets that either spouse acquires during marriage automatically become “community property” that both spouses own equally, including real estate, retirement accounts and investments. During divorce, the court tries to divide community assets between spouses in a way that is fair to each party and promotes the best interest of shared children.

Unfortunately, from hiding cash or creating secret accounts to holding assets with a family member or business partner, there are many ways that spouses facing divorce may try to avoid a fair court-ordered division of property.

Texas’ initial disclosure requirement

To divide assets fairly, it is essential that the court receives a full picture of the marital estate. In Texas, the law requires that each spouse voluntarily exchange an initial disclosure of financial information as part of the discovery process. In addition to copies of the most recent statements for any financial accounts, both spouses must provide information about:

  • Real estate holdings
  • Retirement, pension or other profit-sharing benefit plans
  • Life, liability, casualty and health insurance policies

If the court must make a child or spousal support decision, both parties must also provide copies of recent payroll checks, income tax returns and health insurance documents.

Penalties for concealing assets

This initial disclosure is only the beginning of the discovery process. From further requests for documentation or sworn statements to analysis by a forensic accountant, there are many ways for an opposing attorney to uncover concealed assets.

The penalties can be severe if the court finds that a spouse failed to disclose or falsified required information. In addition to awarding a larger portion of community property to the other party, a judge may favor the other spouse in child support and/or custody decisions and require the dishonest spouse to pay the other’s legal fees.