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Be on the lookout for hidden assets in your divorce

Finances are often at the heart of many arguments couples have while married, so it should come as no surprise that if a couple decides to divorce, financial issues are still a source of contention. Sometimes, one spouse may even try to hide assets from the other spouse, so they can get the upper hand in the divorce. This is illegal, but it does happen. Therefore, Leesburg spouses should be aware of signs that their spouse is hiding assets.

If you are finding that you are no longer receiving financial statements in the mail, it could be a sign that your ex is trying to hide these assets, or deplete them without you knowing about it. You can call your financial institutions and credit card companies to ask for these statements, so you can keep an eye out for any unanticipated changes.

Another way to spot hidden assets is if your spouse suddenly experiences a significant decrease in his or her salary. Some people will defer their salary or ask that bonuses and commissions be paid after the divorce. Similarly, a spouse might try to hide assets by overpaying his or her taxes or creditors. This way, after the divorce is through, he or she will get a refund to keep for him or herself. They may even get a "loan" from a relative, which in actuality they never intend to pay back.

Also, if you spouse is a business owner, keep an eye out for him or her "cooking the books." For example, he or she might pay a fabricated employee. Or he or she would suddenly have no new clients, when in reality he or she does have clients lined up who will sign up once the divorce is over.

Finally, look out for your spouse's behavior. If it seems like he or she is starting to hold secrets, is becoming over-controlling when it comes to finances or is acting defensive when asked about money, he or she might be trying to hide assets.

Hiding assets so that your spouse can't get them in a divorce is illegal, but it does happen. For this reason, it is important to have the help of an attorney throughout the divorce process, who can uncover hidden assets.

Source: Forbes, "Five Ways To Tell If Your Husband Is Hiding Assets," Jeff Landers, June 28, 2011

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30 North King Street
Leesburg, VA 20176

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