One of the toughest parts of divorce, besides the emotional duress it can cause, is the financial hardship that may result. It is mandatory for both parties during a divorce to disclose their complete financial pictures, but people who are bitter toward their soon-to-be exes may be tempted to deprive the other spouse of any financial gains to which they are legally entitled. It is best to be on the lookout for asset-hiding in divorce so that your attorney can help you locate hidden funds. Here are a few tactics and tools to help divorcing individuals pinpoint assets that their partners may have hidden.
Michigan is considered a state of “equitable distribution,” which means that all marital assets will be divided in a way that is equitable based on the financial circumstances of a couple. This is not automatically 50-50. Any property that either individual acquired during their marriage is generally deemed marital property. Exempted is property that one person acquired as a gift or property that has been excluded via a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
It is wise to comb through all documents dealing with debts, income, liabilities and assets to make sure that all of these are accounted for during the divorce proceeding. These include title records, loans, deeds, tax documents and account statements. It is also wise to peruse savings and checking account records and search for any hints that a soon-to-be ex made any substantial deposits, withdrawals, transfers or purchases — anything signaling that he or she moved a large amount of money without telling his or her spouse. It helps to check where this money went to or came from; an unfamiliar account number may be a signal of an asset that has been hidden.
An applied understanding of divorce laws may help people who are going through divorce to get their fair share of assets. The more cooperative both parties can be during divorce, the more likely they can reach a settlement that satisfies them both. If they cannot, a judge in Michigan will decide for them how their assets will be split, and the result may not be pleasing to one or both individuals.
Source: natlawreview.com, “Hide And Seek — Tracking Down Hidden Assets In Divorce Cases“, Jan. 20, 2015