Divorce should be fair even though it may cause a difficult time for everyone in your family. In theory, the law allows both spouses an opportunity to move on with their fair share of marital assets. However, in practice, the Colorado family courts can only divide that which they know about in a litigated divorce.
Some people preparing for divorce make concessions in their property division settlement that let their ex get away with misconduct. Other times, one spouse hides property before divorce proceedings so that the courts can’t divide those assets.
Where are some of the places you need to look for hidden assets in a divorce?
In a new apartment or storage unit
Someone preparing to leave the marital home might start removing certain shared and personal property a bit at a time. Works of art, collectibles, furniture, movies and numerous other personal items may trickle into either a storage unit or a rented home where you will be unable to locate those items to include them on your inventory of assets for the divorce.
In a secret bank account
A surprising number of people will tell anyone contemplating divorce to start their own, separate bank account and to move money into that account. However, until the two of you actually separate, income earned during the marriage is marital income that you have a right to share. Tracking down marital income hidden in secret bank accounts can be an important step for those who want financial justice in their divorce.
In plain sight
Many people take advantage of what they know about their ex as they prepare for divorce proceedings. For example, your spouse may realize that you have no interest in their personal collections or wardrobe. They may start misusing marital resources to buy items to add to their personal collection or to expand their wardrobe, thereby depriving you of funds used to purchase those assets.
Your spouse may just assume you won’t claim the value of their personal property, like designer clothes or fine wristwatches, when reporting your marital property to the courts. Including valuable personal items purchased with marital income on your inventory of assets is crucial to securing a fair outcome. Sometimes, when there is fine jewelry or name-brand clothing involved, you may need to bring in professional help to find the true value of the assets right there in front of you.
Locating hidden assets early in the high-asset divorce process will help you secure a fair division of your marital property.