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Asset protection strategies for divorce

Texas law can play an important role in issues such as alimony during a divorce. In fact, jurisdiction is just one of the factors affecting a Texas couple's financial outcome after divorcing. It is important to have a good understanding of family finances prior to beginning the process. It is also critical to understand the values of various assets as they relate to taxes and other potential obligations.

An asset that is not known to one party could be left out of the marital property division stage of divorce if not caught in time. In many cases, spouses will hire investigators to assist with identifying such assets. Studies have indicated that approximately 15 percent of married individuals have hidden bank accounts, and nearly as many admit to lying about their incomes. Another important issue is to monitor accounts and assets to which both parties have access. In some cases, one spouse might sabotage the interests of the other by failing to make payments on an account or by using accounts to spend unnecessarily.

Retirement funds might be used to satisfy joint debts or to otherwise settle an obligation, but this can have long-reaching consequences both in the present and future. It is important to weigh the benefits of accessing such funds with the tax implications that could follow. It is also important to consider these tax implications in valuing a given asset. An asset with a significant tax burden might be computed to have a lesser net value because of those taxes.

An emotional reaction to divorce might seem natural, but it can do a lot to derail the financial negotiations. It can be helpful to secure the advice of a financial professional as well as a lawyer in preparing for the process. This allows time to gather relevant account information and to develop a strategy for negotiating during the property division phase.

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