In Texas, high-asset divorces cases follow the same court process as do other divorces, but they may be more hotly contested. As Texas is a community property state, the marital assets, that is, the assets that have accumulated during the marriage, are to be divided equally between the spouses during the property division.
Like other types of divorces, the process is initiated by the person who is seeking the divorce filing his or her petition with the court. The petitioner will then need to have the divorce papers served on the respondent. The respondent then will have 21 days to respond to the petition. Upon proof of service, a 61-day waiting period will begin before a divorce can be finalized. If the respondent agrees with the petition, the proposed property division, any proposed spousal support, child custody and child support matters, the divorce can proceed following the waiting period.
In most cases, high-asset divorces will continue on for a while. Couples who have built up significant property holdings, business interests, accounts, retirement funds and other investments will need to locate all of the assets and untangle the portions that should go to each.
Because of the complexity involved in high-asset divorce cases, many people seek the help of a family law attorney. Sometimes, a spouse will attempt to hide assets to keep them from division. A family law attorney may be able to use forensic accountants to help locate assets that may be hidden, including off-shore accounts and others. Attorneys may also be able to help negotiate property and spousal support agreements even in cases that initially seem destined for disputed litigation. In the event that agreements cannot be reached, an attorney may advocate for his or her clients at contested divorce hearings to ensure they receive the appropriate portion of the marital property.