The Evidence Needed to Prove Your Clients Case

Early on, the Texas Supreme Court established the basic principles of tracing separate property. Where separate and community funds were commingled in a bank account, it was considered impossible to segregate the funds.[1] In 1976 James D. Stewart adopted from Farrow v. Farrow 238 S.W2d 255,256, that “a dollar is a dollar,” and from Sibley vs. Sibley, 286 S.W 2d 657 (TX Civ App 1955) the community -out-first rule. From that information, he designed a paper tracing sheet; today, we have computer databases and electronic worksheets. (See Sage Claims of Reimbursements, Offset 0922) The analysis is common with the Sources and Uses analysis used by the Internal Revenue Service as an indirect method of proving income.

Additional activities and records to help corroborate the statements of the client and substantiate the separate property:

  • Documents beneficial to the client should be gathered before departing the residence. This will be discussed by you, the attorney, with the client.
  • Your client should meet with the forensic accountant to discuss the available records and discuss separate property sources and records.
  • Financial documents for the separate property should include the origination date and the amount existing at the time to document ownership before marriage.
  • Various schedules, including pages within the individual tax returns and the depreciation schedule from the business return, are beneficial to the tracing.
  • Loan records and lines of credit should be scrutinized, and payment histories acquired to help with claims for reimbursement.
  • Credit card records for prior years should be acquired for analysis.
  • Consider capturing an image of the business and personal computers and cellphones. These devices are very important in everyone’s life today.

Gathering the essential records, information, and devices is beneficial to the tracing done by spreadsheet analysis. Sage Investigations, LLC uses our proprietary technology, DIO, to help trace multiple accounts and follow the movement of separate funds.[2]

If your client is a high net-worth individual contemplating marriage, consider the proactive tracing of assets and liabilities to get a baseline in anticipation of a future divorce. Contact Sage Investigation, LLC, to help build the dossier to preserve the evidence. On the other hand, if a divorce is in the future for your client, Sage is waiting to help you process the case data and help your client secure their separate property. To learn more about helping your client, contact Retired IRS Special Agent Edmond J. Martin, Chief Investigator at Sage Investigations, LLC, call 512-659-3179 or email You can also visit our website:, and view the C.V.s of our team.

[1] Family Law Follow the Money by Richard R. Orsinger