Diving marital assets can be a cumbersome process that is prone to fighting and disagreements. Arguments usually arise when one partner feels that the other party does not have a legitimate claim to specific assets from the marriage. Unfortunately, this means that some assets will be “hidden” by failure to disclose these items or actively trying to hide them from the ex-spouse through various methods. In the area below, we are going to discuss how property division usually occurs during and divorce. More importantly, items that are commonly hidden and can be done to reveal these items during discovery.
Types of Assets During a Divorce
We can think of assets as anything that has an actual or monetary value. This often includes items such as a home, cars, artwork, electronics, or any such physical thing that holds a dollar amount. This can also include non-tangible items of value, including stock, a business, or even crypto-currency investments.
Assets are generally split into two categories. This includes separate and community assets. Separate assets can be considered items of value acquired before or after the marriage, a gift, or through inheritance.
Community property assets are anything that was acquired during the marriage. Most items will be assumed as community property unless one party can show that these items fall under a specific exception. Utah is known as an equitable distribution state. This means that all assets may not necessarily be split 50-50, but the assets will be divided in a way that is fair to both parties.
Assets that can be Hidden During a Divorce
High-Value Items: This can include physical goods that have a relatively high monetary value.
Examples include artwork, collectibles, hobby materials, jewelry, antiques, and more.
Income or Hidden Profits: This can include actual cash, traveler’s checks, bonuses, and even hidden pay from tax statements.
What can be Done About Hidden Assets?
You must do your best to keep a paper trail of money and assets. The more you can help document investments and purchases, the easier your attorney can help track these items down. In more extreme circumstances, depositions can be taken where certain parties must truthfully answer questions directly related to assets. For example, if your ex-partner wanted to hide marital assets by gifting them away to their new boyfriend or girlfriend. The new partner will have to answer these questions or risk being charged with perjury honestly. In more extreme cases, a forensic accountant or private investigator can help find assets that are being intentionally hidden. If you seek a divorce in Utah, consider contacting the legal professional at Burton Family Attorneys to learn more.
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