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Utah property division: Full disclosure is a requirement

Whether a single event prompted your decision to divorce or you have been having marital problems for years, the decision itself no doubt has sparked a series of other issues you and your spouse must resolve in order to achieve a settlement in a Utah court. If you're a parent, your children's well-being is a top priority, especially regarding property division. You want to make sure you can provide for them as you move on in life together.

While you and your spouse may have been financially comfortable during marriage, if you're both not willing to work together to achieve a fair division of assets in divorce, complications may arise that are difficult to resolve. Has your spouse become defensive when you mention finances? Is money missing from a jointly owned bank account? You might have a hidden asset problem on your hands.

Utah is an equitable property state

Like most states, Utah operates under equitable property guidelines in divorce. The judge overseeing your case will take all marital property into account then determine a fair split, although not necessarily 50/50. Unfortunately, in the past, there have been many spouses who think they can fool the court and gain the upper hand in proceedings by stashing cash or using other covert means to hide assets.

Places to look if you suspect a hidden asset problem

If you notice withdrawals from a joint account, you have a right to inquire about it. If your spouse has opened an account for a minor in your household, it may be further cause for suspicion because depositing money into a juvenile account is a common means for hiding assets in divorce. Another red flag would be if your spouse has recently given money to a friend or relative, claiming it's a loan or a payback for a loan.

You might also want to carefully review your most recent tax returns and credit card statements. If your spouse has overpaid on either, it warrants further investigation. Asset-hiding spouses often do this because they know they will receive a refund check that they can cash and stash to keep the money from being divided in divorce proceedings.

Full disclosure is necessary

You and your spouse must both fully disclose all marital property, including assets and liabilities, in order for the court to determine a fair property division settlement. Judges do not look favorably upon those who try to beat the system. In fact, hiding assets in divorce is illegal.

You might feel overwhelmed, confused and betrayed if you believe the person to whom you were married is engaging in underhanded conduct to try to keep you from obtaining all that you're entitled to in divorce. If you suspect this type of problem, you shouldn't hesitate to reach out for additional support to bring it to the court's attention.

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