Asset and property division often an area of conflict in divorce

Divorce isn't always easy for people in California, as people are forced to juggle the emotional weight of the divorce along with the financial stresses associated with it. Communication and trust are usually low, which only makes the situation worse. Taking steps to ensure that a future ex is not illegally hiding assets will help a person to protect himself or herself financially when dealing with asset and property division during divorce.

In California, which is considered a community property state, any marital assets have to be split 50-50. One way a person may try to hide an asset from a spouse if he or she is a business owner is to delay a business deal that may end up benefiting their marital asset amount if it were to be finalized prior to the divorce. In addition, those who are wage employees might ask their bosses to defer promotions or bonuses until after their divorce settlements have been finalized, as these might be considered marital assets.

Also, custodial accounts that are in a child's name are common areas for people to stash cash during a divorce proceeding. In addition to checking these accounts, it may behoove a divorcing individual to look in a safety deposit box in the name of his or her spouse, as cash may be hidden there as well. It is worth noting that some individuals might try to pay extra income tax and then later complete a tax refund filing following the divorce. However, thanks to modern technology, it is easier for people to search for clues by combing through electronically available transactions and looking at their partners' Web histories.

When two divorcing individuals are willing to work amicably during a divorce, they can easily try to mediate the divorce or negotiate on asset and property division. However, if they are unable to find common ground, a court will have to get involved and make the final decision for them. It is within the rights of both parties to fight for their best interests during each stage of the divorce process.

Source: natlawreview.com, "Hide And Seek -- Tracking Down Hidden Assets In Divorce Cases", Jan. 20, 2015

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