No matter what led to your decision to move on in life without the person you married, as you look ahead and plan for the future, there are numerous issues you must resolve in accordance with Arizona law before you can achieve a fair settlement. Divorce is stressful, even in the best of circumstances, meaning spouses are able to amicably negotiate the terms of a co-parenting or property division agreement, etc., without complex issues or legal obstacles arising.
If you suspect your spouse is trying to hide assets so you get the short end of the stick when the court divides your marital property, things may get a lot worse before they get better. Hiding assets in divorce is illegal, and the judge overseeing your case would not look favorably upon your spouse for attempting to beat the system. However, you’d have to first prove that your suspicions are correct.
Full disclosure is a requirement in divorce
Especially if you have children, the court will want to know more about your finances so it can calculate things like child support, perhaps alimony or property division, to settle your divorce. In order for the court to make fair decisions, you and your spouse must fully disclose all pertinent information regarding assets and liabilities.
If you suspect your spouse isn’t playing by the rules, you have reason to further investigate the matter and to seek the court’s intervention to bring a halt to the scheme. You’ll need to gather evidence to help you accomplish your goals.
Where to look for hidden assets
There are numerous ways to hide assets. If you believe your spouse is trying to gain an upper hand in property proceedings, you might want to consider the issues included in the following list, which contains some of the most common means people use to hide money or other assets in divorce:
- Has your spouse claimed to be loaning money to a relative or friend, or paying back a loan that someone made in his or her favor? People hiding assets will often ask someone they trust to hold money for them until the court finalizes their divorce.
- Were you expecting your spouse to get a pay raise or a bonus check at work, but it never happened? Asking employers to delay incentive or bonus pay is another common scheme spouses use to hide assets.
- When is the last time you closely reviewed your balance statements for credit card accounts you share with your spouse? Overpaying a credit card balance is a sneaky way to hide assets.
- You’ll also want to review your most recent income tax forms because overpaying in taxes is another way to hide money.
- Some people literally stash cash in drawers, safety deposit boxes, under a mattress or elsewhere.
If your spouse’s name is on a bank account for a minor in your household, it’s possible that he or she is using the account to hide assets in divorce. The more evidence you are able to gather, the easier it will be prove to the court that your spouse is trying to beat the system.
Protect your rights
Arizona is one of the few states that operate under community property rules in divorce. This means that a family court judge would typically split all your marital property 50/50 between you and your spouse. This type of situation often prompts hidden asset schemes. That’s why it’s so important for you to learn as much as you can about community property regulations before heading to court.
It’s understandable that you want to walk away with everything you’re entitled to own. It’s also understandable that you want to put a stop to any effort on your spouse’s part to make sure that doesn’t happen. The law is on your side when it comes to filing a complaint about a hidden asset scheme. You can reach out for support as needed to help investigate such matters.