It is common for one or both spouses to hurl accusations at each other during the course of a divorce. Even a relatively amicable divorce will involve instances of one or both parties not believing each other or having difficulty communicating over sensitive matters. Money is often a major matter of contention between couples, with financial arguments considered one of the primary reasons for divorce. As the divorce escalates, a frustrated spouse may accuse a former partner of hiding marital assets. While it is tempting to ignore their words, when it comes to something as serious as hiding assets, it is best to have a plan regarding what to do if you are accused.
Review Your Financial Affidavit
Even if you are certain that you disclosed every detail about your finances to your attorney and the court, always double check. During a divorce, each spouse must submit a financial affidavit to the court that is a formal document meant to provide the court with straightforward information about the financial situation of each partner. It is not unusual for these documents to contain errors, especially if you are attempting a do-it-yourself divorce with no assistance from an attorney. A determined and vengeful ex-spouse could make a basic oversight caused by estimations appear to be a purposeful error designed to conceal assets.
Explain Any Recent Financial Transactions
Most adults hate justifying or explaining why they make certain purchases with money they earned. Unfortunately, when you are going through a divorce, explaining yourself and your actions will become standard practice. When asked, explain any recent financial transactions you have made especially large purchases or the sudden depositing of large sums. The court and your spouse want to be sure that you are not liquidating assets and spending the money yourself in an attempt to cheat your ex out of his or her share. It is often easier to answer questions through an attorney than make the issue more complicated and potentially damaging by refusing to work with the court.
Document All Asset Sales
Typically, marital assets are not disposed of until the divorce is finalized and each spouse knows what percentage of sale proceeds to accept. In some cases, a spouse may sell small items prior to the divorce being filed or before he or she is aware that assets should not be sold. This oversight may be questioned by the court, your spouse, and your spouse’s attorney. Documenting the sale of all assets may help mitigate factors by making sure everyone knows exactly how much cash was obtained to allow that sum to be divided at a later date.
Talk to a Lawyer
Most importantly, if you are accused of hiding assets, always talk to a qualified division of property attorney. An attorney who understands the law and how courts are likely to interpret your actions is able to represent you in court and protect your rights. The legal team at Vayman & Teitelbaum understands how stressful accusations of impropriety or misconduct during a divorce are. We work tirelessly on your behalf to clear your name and obtain the divorce settlement you deserve. Contact one of our conveniently located Atlanta, Georgia offices to schedule your initial consultation today.