When you decided to divorce, you may have thought ahead to various types of issues that could possibly arise to cause stress or delay your settlement. Perhaps there have been ongoing problems between you and your spouse that cause you to worry about certain aspects of the divorce process. For instance, if you don't trust your spouse, you may be anxious about property division proceedings for fear you might wind up with the short end of the stick. Colorado is not one of the nine community property states.
This means the court will not necessarily divide all your marital property 50/50. If your spouse tends to hide things from you, and has made purchases in the past without telling you about them, it's understandable you'd be concerned that a hidden asset problem might occur.
Get the facts and know your rights
The best means for combating hidden asset trouble in divorce is to know how to recognize signs of trouble, and also how to access immediate support if a problem arises. The following information may apply to your situation:
- The name of the game for property division is full disclosure. If your spouse is refusing to provide needed information regarding assets, purchases and other financial matters, it is definitely cause for concern.
- Do you use Pay Pal or other electronic fund transfer systems? If so, you're one of many in Colorado and throughout the nation who do. However, if you think your spouse is transferring money to friends or relatives, and you don't know why, it's time to ask some pertinent questions. Many spouses get others to hold onto cash for them to keep the court from dividing the money as assets.
- If your spouse has over paid taxes or credit card debt, it may be a sign of a hidden asset problem.
- Overstating business expenses on a tax form is another tactic spouses often use to hide assets. It's also a form of tax fraud.
- If your spouse purchases an expensive item, make sure its value is correctly listed for property division purposes. A spouse who understates an item's value may be trying to hide money. He or she can sell the purchased item to get the money back after the divorce goes through.
On one hand, you don't want to suspect every little thing your spouse does or says; however, you also don't want to take the fall for or bear the brunt of someone's illegal activities, and hiding assets is against the law.
What can you do about it?
If you think your spouse is trying to keep you from assets that are rightfully yours, you can certainly inquire about it. If your spouse acts irritated, angry or defensive, you may definitely want to further investigate the matter.
Many Colorado spouses seek outside support when they think they've got a hidden asset problem on their hands. Private investigators and experienced family law attorneys can help get to the bottom of a hidden asset problem.