How to Prevent Hidden Marital Assets From Going Undetected During Divorce
When you first get married, you never even consider the possibility that you could one day be facing your spouse in divorce court, wondering where all the marital assets have disappeared to. And while your younger, love-struck self would never dream that the person you married would hide away assets just in case of divorce, the older, wiser you is starting to wonder. After all, if you have any notion of the income you and your spouse were earning, as well as where money was going out, then the numbers simply might not add up when it comes to the separation of community property during your divorce proceedings. However, there are ways to uncover any marital assets that may have been hidden by your soon-to-be-ex spouse. And you might not want to forget about marital debts in the process. Here are some tips to find what you’re looking for.
The place to start is by hiring yourself a qualified divorce lawyer. This professional and his team can do a financial assessment (or lifestyle analysis) in order to determine where money is supposed to be coming and going in relation to the household, jobs, a business, loans, assets, and so on. When accountants add up all of this information they can get a clear picture of your lifestyle with your spouse. But they can also tell you if something doesn’t match up or make sense, in which case you can either inform them of something they missed or start trying to figure out where your wayward spouse has stashed the extra cash or invested in assets you don’t know about.
When you know that something is amiss you can start looking for indicators of hidden assets, and collections are a good place to start. You might not dream of depriving your spouse of a treasured collection of coins or stamps…at least not until you discover that your so-called partner has invested a ton of your marital assets into building up the collection during the course of your marriage, and without telling you, no less. You might also consider antique furniture, automobiles, art, and more. And you shouldn’t overlook the potential for additional bank accounts and especially safe deposit boxes. Any such moves could be masking hidden assets. If you happen to own a business you should also look into deferred salary/commissions or delayed contracts that your spouse hopes to collect once the marriage has been dissolved. Look for recent stock transfers, as well. Hiding assets is illegal, and if your spouse is stupid enough to involve other family members in such shenanigans, both could be liable when you discover the truth.
Don’t forget about possible debts, as well. Although you might not be keen to discover that your spouse has opened all kinds of credit cards and maxed them out during your marriage, you need to know as soon as possible if you have any hope of pinning the debts on your ex instead of assuming them yourself. Although a skilled alimony attorney in Virginia, Texas, or California should be able to get you a good settlement and help you avoid excess debt that you had nothing to do with incurring, you need to know about hidden assets and debts if you want to address them before the divorce is final.
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