Both you and your spouse made contributions to your marital household that benefit of the other. You likely shared income and insurance benefits with one another, and each of you may have performed certain tasks around the home.
Separating your lives will be one of the biggest challenges in your upcoming divorce. Financial issues are often one of the leading sources of disputes and misconduct in modern divorces. Your spouse, intent on beating you, might illegally act to deprive you of your fair share of the marital estates. What are some of the ways in which people manipulate the outcome of property division proceedings?
1. They undervalue assets or do not report personal belongings
Some people comply with your financial discovery rights but only minimally so. They may provide an inventory of assets that includes ridiculously undervalued property or may not truthfully account for their personal belongings, such as a designer wardrobe or a fine art collection. While you may not intend to return those assets in the divorce, you have every right to claim your fair share of their value.
2. They hide income or resources
Your spouse may have had a secret bank account since before the two of you ever got married. They may take money out of their paycheck every single week and move it into that private account without you ever knowing it exists.
They could also have spent months or even several years making incremental purchases of items that they intend to keep for themselves in the divorce. They may store these items someplace away from your home to set up an apartment or separate house once they leave you. People often need to bring in financial experts, such as forensic accountants, when they hope to prove that their spouse has hidden money or other assets.
3. They intentionally diminish your shared resources
Maybe your spouse gives away thousands of dollars in furniture and household belongings shortly before filing for divorce. Perhaps they hold a garage sale and sell items for pennies on the dollar. They might even make gifts to family and friends with the intention of reclaiming the items after your divorce.
Other people might wastefully spend or accrue credit card debt to limit what their spouse receives in the divorce. When you believe that your separation may lead to financial misconduct on the part of your spouse, you may need to employ a particularly cautious approach to your upcoming divorce proceedings.
Accounting for financial misconduct as you prepare for property division proceedings can help you obtain an appropriate outcome in your divorce.