How to Address Hidden Assets in Divorce
Divorce addresses many important family-related issues, but one of the primary concerns is the fair division of your marital property. If your spouse is hiding assets, the matter is that much more complicated – and that much more urgent. If you believe your divorcing spouse may be hiding marital assets in relation to your impending divorce, it’s time to consult with an experienced divorce attorney in the Minneapolis area.
Your Marital Property
Before you can adequately understand the effects of hiding assets, it’s important to know how the law addresses marital property (and its division). Those assets that you and your spouse acquired while you are married are considered marital. It does not matter if one of you made the purchase and only that spouse’s name is on the documentation. If the asset came into your ownership while you were married, it is marital property. The only two exceptions include:
- Any inheritances that came to either of you in your name only
- Any gifts that either of you received in your name only
While you and/or your divorcing spouse may have assets that you consider your own separate property, this may not be how the law sees the matter. And the separate property that either of you owns prior to marriage and manages to keep distinctly separate throughout your marriage will remain the original owner’s separate property, but keeping property separate during the course of a marriage can be exceptionally difficult.
For example, if you owned the home that your family went on to live in after you were married, there is a possibility that part of it will remain your separate property, but any increase in its value over the years is a marital asset. And if marital funds were used to make home improvements, their separate nature may be lost entirely. In other words, it’s a complicated issue.
The division of marital assets is complicated enough when everything is on the up and up, but if your divorcing spouse is hiding assets, the matter is urgent. And because your financial rights hang in the balance, getting to the bottom of the matter is critical. Some of the ways unscrupulous spouses attempt to hide assets include:
- Devaluing property
- Giving away, gifting, spending down, or otherwise artificially diminishing assets
- Hiding assets in trusts and other financial tools
- Using a complicated asset, like a business, as a smokescreen
If your divorcing spouse has more involvement with your family’s financials than you do, the situation is that much more critical, and you need professional legal guidance on your side.
An Experienced Divorce Attorney in the Minneapolis Area Can Help
The formidable divorce attorneys at Atticus Family Law in the Minneapolis area understand how important protecting your financial assets throughout the divorce process is to you and your children, and we dedicate our practice to helping clients like you do just that. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.