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How to best remedy potential hidden asset issues in your divorce

In Louisiana and throughout the nation, the court tries to keep the best interests of all parties involved in mind when making property division decisions during any divorce.

Every state's divorce laws are different, so it's a good idea to seek clarification of the laws in your state before entering litigation. If you're unsure about a particular issue, don't be afraid to ask someone who can lead you to the answers.

If both spouses are not being honest and fair, problems can arise when it comes time to divide marital assets. In fact, hidden asset problems are not uncommon in divorce. If your spouse tries to keep cash or other items hidden so that you will get the short end of the stick during the division of marital assets, it is not only mean-spirited, it is illegal. There are support resources available to help you resolve such problems.

Types of assets your spouse may be hiding

The most obvious type of marital asset is cold, hard cash. Surprisingly, some spouses simply start stashing cash in drawers or locked boxes to try to keep it out of the other spouse's reach before proceeding into divorce. The following list includes other assets your spouse might not want the court to know about:

  • Cash values of insurance policies
  • Savings bonds
  • Stocks
  • Travelers' checks
  • Valuations of art, luxury vehicles, such as boats, jewels or gun collections

Fair property division proceedings require full disclosure on the part of both spouses. If your spouse uses false documents, over-payments of credit card balances or taxes, or other means to hide assets, you may have your work cut out to try to prove your allegations.

Who can help?

Many people hire private investigators to help them gather evidence that a spouse is committing illegal acts that could significantly impact the divorce. If you expect to battle things out in court, you'll also want to make sure you are prepared by building a strong support team ahead of time.  If you know someone who has gone through a similar experience, you might want to broach the topic to ask how he or she solved the problem.

While it's understandable you want to think the best of your ex and try to avoid contentious situations so that you can settle your divorce and move on in life, you definitely will want to avoid sitting back and doing nothing if you believe he or she is trying to keep you from obtaining everything to which you're rightfully entitled. 

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