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How Texas divorce law treats secret bank accounts

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2022 | Divorce

It is not unusual for somebody thinking about divorcing their spouse to start planning before they break the news. For example, they might secretly open a new bank account and squirrel away some cash in there as a sort of “divorce fund.” For someone who wants a divorce but is unsure how they would support themselves financially as a single person, this sort of thing is understandable.

But it is also unlikely to work under Texas’ divorce property division laws. Texas is a community property state. Most income and other assets acquired during the marriage are considered to belong to both spouses, no matter which spouse directly earned the money — or whether the other spouse is even aware of it. Therefore, siphoning off funds to a secret account is unlikely to help you — and could make things worse.

Betrayal of trust can make divorce messier

By the time a marriage has reached the divorce stage, trust between the spouses can be severely damaged or virtually gone. Once discovered by the other side, hidden assets can only push the parties further apart. Negotiations to settle property division, child custody and other vital matters could become much more difficult when one spouse learns the other has been hiding assets from them. Instead of both sides working in good faith to reach a settlement both sides can accept, the divorce can turn into an ugly, dragged-out affair that costs both sides more money in legal fees and other expenses.

Getting the settlement you deserve

You deserve your half of the community property. That often means a thorough investigation to make sure your spouse does not have assets hidden away that they did not disclose to you. Once you know the full extent of the marital assets, you can begin working toward a financial settlement.