All couples have money fights. However, discovering your spouse has been financially unfaithful to you by opening up a separate bank account or hiding money from you is hurtful. You feel betrayed that your spouse wanted to keep at least a portion of these assets to themselves and instantly mistrust their statements. You ask, what else is this person hiding from me? The same is true if you find out your spouse has a secret credit card and is hiding purchases or has mountains of undisclosed debt.
Being married to someone you can’t trust with your finances is difficult. However, in Texas assets accumulated after the marriage are presumed to belong to the community estate. Both spouses have an interest in the asset, even if that asset is solely in one spouse’s name. Examples of community property include real estate, retirement accounts, salary, wages, and income generated from both community property and separate property.
When divorcing someone who has been financially unfaithful, you worry if your spouse will honestly disclose all assets, income, expenses, and debt acquired during the marriage. You worry about how those assets and debt will be dividends. Texas Family Courts have safety measures to preserve your property by implementing Standing Orders or Temporary Restraining Orders the moment you file your Original Petition for Divorce.
A Standing Order or Temporary Restraining Orders will often prohibit parties from causing harm to the assets you have spent years accumulating. For instance, parties are prohibited from destroying, concealing, transferring or reducing the value of the property of one or both of the parties. Neither party may incur any new debts or make withdraws from any checking or savings accounts unless authorized by the court.
Moreover, before a divorce is finalized, Texas courts will require each spouse to submit a verified inventory and appraisement, listing all property and debts. This inventory must be signed before a notary. A Court will interpret that by signing, each spouse swears under penalty of perjury that the contents of that document are true and correct to the best of his or her belief. The judge will use this inventory to make a just and right division of the marital estate. Items not disclosed during divorce may still be subject to post-divorce division.
Divorce is challenging and dividing property and debt is stressful. It is important to hire an attorney to uncover any hidden assets. Attorneys will usually submit discovery requests, depositions and in court, testimony to discover the true value of your marital estate.