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Is your spouse attempting a hidden asset scheme?

When you got married in a Utah courthouse, church or other location, you and your spouse had likely had numerous conversations before that day, regarding your future life together. Perhaps, you planned to raise a family. Maybe you both shared a dream of launching a business together. No matter what your unique goals and aspirations may have been, one issue that was no doubt far from your mind on your wedding day was divorce. 

Whether you've already been married 20 years or more, or you have not yet reached a 10-year anniversary, determining that your relationship is no longer sustainable can be a stressful and highly emotional circumstance. Especially if you have children, you want what is best for them. That's why, if you suspect your spouse is not adhering to the rules as you navigate property division proceedings, it's best to further investigate to avoid winding up with the proverbial short end of the stick.

Not all settlements are amicable

You may have hoped that you and your spouse could simply work out a fair and agreeable settlement, then move on in life, each willing to work together as a co-parenting team for the sake of your kids. Sadly, things don't always go as planned in divorce. If your spouse has commented about gaining the upper-hand regarding marital property, it's definitely cause for concern.

Then again, perhaps your spouse hasn't come right out and threatened you about assets, but you suspect something isn't right because money is disappearing from a jointly owned bank account. This is often a first sign of a hidden asset problem in divorce.

What are the other signs?

In addition to withdrawals from your account without your knowledge, there are other red flag issues that warrant further investigation if you think your spouse is trying to hide assets. For instance, if your spouse recently opened a juvenile account for one of your children, it might be a sign of a hidden asset problem.

If you suspect your spouse is trying to beat the system, you'll want to closely review your most recent income tax documents, as well as credit card statements. Spouses who attempt hidden asset schemes often overpay on their taxes or credit card balances as a way of stashing money. Did your spouse recently give money to a relative or friend, claiming to be paying back a loan or lending money? Such issues often point to hidden asset problems.

Things you need to know

You might feel betrayed, frustrated or angry if you believe your spouse is hiding assets in divorce. It's understandable, especially when you were willing to work out a fair settlement so you both would be set as you make a fresh start in life.

Beyond the emotional upheaval that a hidden asset problem can stir, it's important to remember that hiding assets in divorce is illegal. Utah law requires full disclosure by both spouses in property division proceedings. If you suspect a hidden asset problem, you can seek the court's intervention to resolve the issue.

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