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The Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C.

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Divorce and Family Law Matters

We are now accepting clients statewide in Texas.

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As the situation with COVID-19 continues to develop and evolve, the safety, health and well-being of our clients and our team is extremely important to us. We are watching for the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and international medical experts to learn how we can best manage our facility and our clients.

We would like to reassure you that The Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C. will continue to be available to provide services to all of our clients.

Our lawyers and paralegals are working in the office and electronically, although most of us are working from home. Below is a list of FAQs regarding our response and commitment to you during COVID-19.

Can I even have a consultation with my lawyer remotely?

Yes, The Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C. has a comprehensive remote working capability and all of our lawyers and paralegals are equipped to work securely from home.

Will my lawyer be available to answer questions and work on my case?

Yes, your legal matters will continue to receive our attention. You can email, call, or videoconference with your lawyer during this time.

We also have multiple videoconferencing options; please contact your attorney for the platform that works best for you

How are court hearings and appointments affected?

Court in Bexar County are now conducted by Zoom Please see our blog article Court via Zoom: It’s Actually, Really Court (and Here’s How It Works)

Can I consult with a lawyer about a new family law or divorce matter?

Yes, we have office staff working in house and remotely to ensure continuity in our business. For information about a family law or divorce matter, please call our office or complete the Request a Consultation Form.

Your family law matters remain our top concern and we are not going to permit this pandemic to take priority over your needs. We will remain confident, alert and prepared.

We wish you and your family well as we work through this difficult situation together.

With warm regards,
Lisa A Vance

 

 

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What if my husband or wife is hiding finances from me in the divorce?

| Apr 13, 2018 | Community Vs. Separate Property, Divorce, Financial Professional Consultation, Forensic Accountants |

When a couple starts the divorce process, each party is supposed to tell the truth about assets they have and debts they’ve accumulated. However, not all divorces work that way.

It’s possible, for example, that a husband has an account he doesn’t want his wife to know about-because he’s using it to buy expensive gifts for his mistresses. It’s also possible that, in this age of people owning and operating their own businesses, money that should be community property is instead being channeled through the business account for personal purposes.

When one spouse suspects the other of hiding assets or debts from the other, even early in the divorce process when they’re supposed to lay all their cards on the table, there are steps that lawyers can take to help uncover what’s being hidden. Both parties in a divorce are supposed to disclose all their assets and debts to prepare for the divorce.

Most couples have jointly-held assets and debts that they’re likely both already aware of, though some married couples leave the finances in the hand of just the husband or just the wife. I had a recent case where a wife wondered why the husband was able to afford a recent motorcycle purchase even though they seemed to be struggling to meet all their bills. The wife was able to see the checkbook that the husband kept, but didn’t check the online balance-the husband was purposefully writing a deceptively low amount to make it appear he had less money than he actually did.

They also both might be aware of assets and debts in just one spouse’s name, though as I wrote in my last article, those are considered community property if they were acquired during the marriage. But there also might be assets and debts that each spouse has accumulated of which the other spouse isn’t aware.

If there’s any doubt, either party’s lawyer can file what’s called a discovery request. When that’s filed, the party served needs to produce all financial materials within 30 days of the request, not counting court holidays. That should, in theory, give the person served adequate time to produce the needed documents. This process is routine in most divorces and typically both parties produce the relevant documents.

If that still doesn’t happen, the lawyer can file a motion to compel, and if the person is still refusing to produce information with that motion in place, it’s possible to seek sanctions against that person for violating a court order, though it becomes a question of whether it’s worth it or not to seek sanctions.

It can also help to work with a forensic accountant, who can help find information on accounts and valuations on portions of the estate, in order to come up with a better sense of what the entire estate is worth. The court may also specifically bring appraisers in to provide valuations of homes and other major assets. (Actual home values can differ from what the county determines they’re worth.)

When you’re divorcing, it’s best to be open and honest with finances – but honesty isn’t necessarily the strong suit of people in this situation. Know that if a person isn’t forthcoming with finances in divorce, he or she can be found out and the situation can be corrected. 

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