Is Your Spouse Hiding Assets?
Married couples share almost everything, but that is not the case for everyone. The potential to deceive a spouse can be high if the motivation is there and what you don't know might really hurt you when a divorce looms. Read on to learn more about how divorce treats property and how hidden assets could make you walk away from a divorce with far less than you might be entitled to.
What to know about marital property
The law views marital property as that which was acquired during the marriage with a few exceptions. If your spouse owned a car before the marriage, then that asset is not considered marital property. If you both own a home during your marriage, then that home is considered marital property, and it doesn't matter whose money was used or in whose name the property resides. There are a few exceptions:
1. Property that was given (or gifted) to one party alone remains the property of the giftee.
2. Property that was inherited by one party is the property of the party alone and is never considered marital property.
3. Property that was co-mingled during the marriage presents a tangle that must be untangled before ownership can be determined. This often happens when an asset, such as a bank account, that previously belonged to one party becomes intertwined with the other's assets. If the other spouse deposited money into that bank account or if a party was added onto the account, then it is considered a co-mingled asset.
Know the signs of hidden assets
- Your spouse's spending is not in line with the professed salary.
- Your spouse has locked drawers or filing cabinets that you are not allowed to access.
- Your spouse is providing you and others with expensive gifts.
- Your spouse spends a lot of time away, and the absences are unexplained.
- Your spouse insists on filing federal taxes as a married filing single even though your tax situation would be improved by filing jointly.
- Your spouse is self-employed with opportunities to make unknown amounts of money or is the owner or partner in a small business or corporation.
- Your spouse becomes angry and defensive when you ask about any of the above.
When it's time to ask for property and support
Income comes into play before the divorce has even gotten off the ground if you need child or spousal support. If the income figures your spouse provides to the courts seem lacking, you may have to take action to determine the true income figures. Support, debt, and property issues are all based on the holdings of both parties, and you might be missing out on a lot of money if your spouse is hiding assets. Speak to your attorney about financial disclosure orders, forensic accounting services. and more if you believe that the earnings your spouse profess to hold amount to a shell game.
For more information, contact a law office like Crome Law Firm.