Property division can be a hotly contested issue in a high-asset divorce. The outcome of these matters can shape your life for years or even decades to come, which means that you need to approach it with your eye on the long-term ramifications of your actions. While many people who are in this situation aggressively fight for the assets they think they deserve, far too often they overlook the possibility that the marital estate that should be divided is much larger than the one that is being addressed.
Be aware of hidden assets
Those who see a costly divorce looming in the distance sometimes take steps to hide assets from their spouses in hopes of either spending it prior to divorce on personal items that are harder to trace or to remove those assets from the property division process altogether. There are a number of ways that people try to hide marital assets. Frequently, a spouse opens a bank account in the name of another individual, such as a child. In other instances, cash is stashed away with family or friends. Items of personal property such as vehicles may be titled in someone else’s name. All of these tactics are meant to keep the spouse’s eyes off of the assets so that they won’t be divided during the divorce process.
Finding hidden assets
The good news is that there are things that you can do to try to find hidden assets. Perhaps one of the best ways is to secure the assistance of a forensic accountant. These individuals can follow the money to determine where it went. They’re also familiar with common tactics that are utilized to hide assets, so they know where to start and what to look for when dealing with these matters.
Be prepared to fight
If your spouse is hiding assets from you, then you’re probably in for a contentious divorce, especially as it pertains to property division. You need to be prepared to aggressively represent yourself and your interests so that you can protect yourself as fully as possible, both at the negotiation table and in court. If that sounds a bit daunting to you, don’t worry. Skilled legal professionals stand ready to fight for you.