Couples planning to divorce will often find themselves arguing about what is fair and appropriate for the division of their shared property. The more assets you have and the more complex your holdings are, the greater the possibility that your ex may try to trick you or deprive you of your fair share of the marital estate.
There are numerous techniques that people will employ to diminish what they have to share with their spouse in a divorce. Watching out for these behaviors can help you secure an appropriate outcome in your upcoming divorce proceedings.
They hide their assets
Hidden assets can quickly complicate property division proceedings. After all, how can you secure a fair outcome when you don’t even know what property you actually share?
You and your ex each have to provide information about your physical property and financial holdings, as well as your obligations. Some people will move physical property out of the marital home to hide it from their spouse. Others might slowly fund a bank account that they never disclose to their spouse or the courts.
They undervalue their assets
Some people don’t want to endanger themselves by openly lying about what they possess. After all, when courts discover hidden property, they tend to penalize the spouse who didn’t disclose their assets. Instead of hiding what they own, they will misrepresent what it is worth.
Undervaluing assets is a sneaky way to drastically diminish the value of your marital estate on paper and therefore reduce how much they have to share with you. Collections and wardrobes may hide tens of thousands of dollars in assets that you may not want to personally keep but should properly value.
They give away assets
Some people will waste marital resources so that they don’t have to share them with their spouses. They might give antique furniture to their siblings or hold a garage sale where they sell your personal possessions for pennies on the dollar. Any attempt to intentionally reduce your marital estate by accruing debt or giving away property could constitute dissipation and may influence how the courts divide your property.
You may need to partner with a forensic accountant to gather evidence of hidden assets or dissipation. There are other professionals that could help you secure more accurate valuations for assets ranging from vintage collectibles and real estate to classic cars and designer handbags.
You need to understand what assets comprise your marital estate and how much they are worth to push for an appropriate outcome in your upcoming property division proceedings.