Be on the lookout for hidden assets in your pending divorce

When a legal issue arises in your family, the best way you can protect yourself and the ones you love is by consulting a family law attorney who understands how to help you.

There are a lot of considerations when you believe divorce is likely for your marriage. For example, you need to consider how the divorce could impact your children, if you have any. If you and your spouse signed a prenuptial agreement, review the contract before you decide to file. You're also going to want to make copies of critical financial documents for your own records. However, it's important to realize that your spouse may also be taking steps to prepare for divorce.

Most of the time, these preparations involve arranging a new place to live or consulting with an attorney. Some people, however, will do things that are both unethical and illegal. Incurring large amounts of new debt, wasting marital assets or attempting to hide assets prior to divorce are all possible, especially in a high asset divorce. The greater the overall value of your marital assets, the more motivation your spouse may have to hide some of them.

Colorado courts seek a fair and equitable asset division outcome

The general rule that guides the courts during their consideration of how to divide your assets is fair and equitable distribution. They will look at the contributions of both parties to the marriage (including unpaid work in the home), the economic circumstances of each spouse, child custody and support agreements, spousal support terms, the standard of living for the family during marriage and more.

They will then refer to to information provided by the divorcing couple about assets and try to create an outcome that is fair to everyone involved. When one spouse hides assets, that unfairly skews the outcome of the process in his or her favor.

Working with a forensic accountant can help you find assets

If you have any reason to suspect that your spouse would intentionally hide assets from you and the courts in a divorce, you need help. Financial records can be complex and dense, making it hard for you to determine what has happened to financial assets during your marriage.

A forensic accountant, on the other hand, specializes in finding discrepancies in financial records and signs of potential hidden assets. For example, your accountant could find major purchases of assets that retain value that your spouse has hidden. Classic cars, fine art and jewelry are all examples of personal possessions purchased with marital assets that can hide significant value. Knowing how much your spouse paid can help you place a fair value on these items.

A forensic accountant can also help you locate suspicious cash withdrawals, hidden bank, retirement or investment accounts and even evidence of intentionally squandered marital assets. This information can help ensure a fair outcome to your divorce.

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