Texas is a community property state. This means that, under Texas law, most property acquired during a marriage belongs to both spouses. This is often true regardless of which spouse actually acquired the asset.
When a marriage is ending between spouses who have high net worth, asset hiding is not uncommon. Forensic accounting may be necessary to trace and track all assets acquired during the marriage to ensure that a complete list is assembled so that all marital property can be equitably divided.
Some techniques of hiding marital assets are more common than others. Examples include:
- Hiding cash or buying resalable assets like jewelry or stocks
- Prepaying credit card balances is essentially a fancy way to hide cash
- Exchanging cash for foreign currency or traveler’s checks (U.S. banking law does not require reporting such exchanges unless the amount is $10,000 or more)
- Gifting assets to a family member or close friend
These other asset-hiding techniques are also common, but less likely to be “DIY.” These strategies usually are put into play upon receiving financial advice from an adviser.
- Transferring assets to a fake business name
- Paying assets into an insurance policy
- Prepaying one or more mortgage balances, which may allow the individual to shelter assets under Texas’ homestead exemption
For a more thorough definition of community property in Texas, you can read the Texas statutory definitions of community and separate property.
Contact Kevin Buchanan for Answers to Questions About Asset Hiding
Attorney Kevin Buchanan is a Dallas attorney offering family law clients skillful and experienced representation. He places a strong emphasis on fairness, and on treating all clients with dignity and respect. If you have questions about division of property, or concerns that your spouse is hiding assets, he would be pleased to review your circumstances and offer his opinion. To schedule a private consultation, fill out the online intake form or call (214) 378-9500.