The success and stability of your post-divorce life hinges on whether you obtain a full and fair division of your marital property. In Kentucky, marital property is any of the assets that either you or your spouse acquired during your marriage. This may include your income from your jobs, profits or appreciation from a business, and purchases you made separately or together.
Exceptions to marital property include those assets you owned prior to your marriage, inheritances or gifts, and anything excluded by a prenuptial agreement. However, some spouses believe they can create their own exceptions by hiding money or other assets from their spouses when it comes time for property division in a divorce. This is illegal, and you have the right to know if your spouse is keeping assets from you.
Where are the assets?
Ideally, you have an inventory of your joint assets, real estate, savings and investments, and other property. You are also aware of your spouse’s full income, including bonuses, profit sharing and commissions. If this describes you, you are in the minority. In many marriages, only one spouse fully understands the finances. Now is the time to seek as much information as possible about the funds coming and going from your marriage. If your spouse is hiding assets, he or she may be using any of the following tactics or others:
- Pretending to pay debts that don’t exist
- Loaning money to friends or family
- Overpaying taxes or other debts
- Claiming to have lost money in an investment or other scheme
- Delaying the reception of a bonus or commission
- Purchasing stocks, bonds or real estate
- Creating a false business
- Opening a safe deposit box or purchasing a safe
You may be able to track down some of these assets by a careful evaluation of past and present tax returns. With a professional’s help, you may notice sudden changes in recent filings that may lead you to suspect your spouse is not entirely honest in his or her disclosure of assets.
It is normal for couples to lose trust in each other before and during a divorce. However, your future depends on receiving the portion of joint assets that you deserve. If your spouse is keeping that from you, you have the right to aggressively pursue your fair share. With the help of a skilled attorney, you will have access to the resources that may help you track down assets your spouse may be hiding from property division.