Finding Hidden Assets in Divorce in Arizona
Divorce is not something that anyone plans on when they start a relationship. Yes, there may be a prenuptial agreement in place, but those are common now. They do not signal that a relationship is destined for failure. When a couple has reached the point of divorce, we know that there is often mistrust in the relationship. As a recent Forbes article points out, mistrust may mean that one or both spouses have hidden assets from one another.
Why does this matter?
It matters because when a couple separates in Arizona, all marital property must be divided between the two spouses. This generally includes all assets gained by either party during the course of the marriage – hidden assets included. If you are going through a divorce and think that your spouse may have hidden assets from you, please seek assistance from a qualified Arizona family law attorney. You want to make sure you have everything in order before making accusations of hidden assets by your spouse.
What Do You Mean, Hidden Assets?
If a marriage has been heading south for a while, one spouse may have made a choice to start putting away their own stash of money or some other assets. While this may sound hard to do, it happens more often than people think.
The Forbes article points out that a spouse may deny that any hidden assets exist, claim assets have been lost, or transfer assets to a third party. Finding these hidden assets can be difficult but can generally be done by following a paper trail.
With the help of an attorney, you can scan through past tax returns. This can give you a full view of year-after-year asset losses and gains. Another good place to check is any mortgage documents you and your spouse have. Mortgage lenders often require that people disclose their assets and debts in full before closing a deal, so the paperwork will contain much of the information you need. The Forbes article also urges people to check potential hiding spots for documents their spouse may want to keep hidden. Are there any safes or safe deposit boxes?
In Arizona, all property must be equitably split between the two parties. A family law judge will ultimately determine what is equitable division and this does not necessarily mean a 50-50 split of each individual asset. Among what is considered community property is:
- The marital residence
- Pensions, IRAs, 401(k)s
- Stocks, commissions, and salaries
- Vehicles, RVs, and boats
- Other real estate
- Furniture, artwork, collectibles
- And more
Sorting through all of that, along with any hidden assets, can become complicated. Unfortunately, property division is not the only complicated part of a divorce.
What Else Is There?
If a couple has minor children, then issues of child custody and child support payments will be front and center. It is vital that the best interests of any children involved are put first. For a non-custodial parent, visitation schedules will also need to be arranged.
In many instances, spousal maintenance (alimony) will be ordered paid to the spouse of lesser means. This can be temporary or permanent and often depends on the length of the marriage.
How An Attorney Can Help
Divorces can become emotional. When the stakes are high, as they are with most divorces, emotions can lead to bad decision making and things being said that will hurt you in the process. Having a qualified and experienced attorney by your side will go a long way towards ensuring you get a positive outcome. Your attorney will make sure that you are treated fairly throughout the process.
Click here for information on our experienced Mesa divorce lawyers.