Divorce can be a costly endeavor. Yet, you should get your fair share of the marital estate. “Fair” division doesn’t necessarily mean equal, though, which is why you need to do what you can to position yourself for a favorable property division outcome. While this certainly may mean showing characteristics of your marriage such as its length, what you gave up in furtherance of your family, and any fault for the marriage’s dissolution, it also means having a solid understanding of what falls into the marital estate. Let’s look at a few areas that you shouldn’t forget to address.
Even if you’ve been married a long time, there’s a good chance that you and your spouse each have assets that will be considered separate from the marital estate. This means that they won’t be subject to property division. Property owned before marriage and inheritances might qualify as separate property.
However, if separate assets are comingled with marital assets, then they may be deemed converted into marital assets. For example, if you own a business and then get married, using marital assets to help maintain the business or make improvements to it can give your spouse a interest in the business.
Sadly, in many divorce cases a spouse tries to conceal marital assets for him or herself for individual use post-divorce. New bank accounts might be opened up where marital funds are deposited unbeknownst to the other spouse, or title is given to family members or friends with the intent of retaining actual use and enjoyment of that property.
This is unfair, against the law, and unacceptable. That’s why if you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets you may want to confer with a forensic accountant who can help you trace these assets and present the matter to a judge.
Be confident in your approach to property division
To secure a sound financial foundation post-divorce, you need to be prepared and aggressive throughout your property division process. This means being knowledgeable about the assets in play, how the law applies to your circumstances, and crafting compelling arguments that support your position and counter the other side’s position. If you think that you could use some assistance in this process, then you might want to speak to an experienced divorce attorney so that you can be confident sitting down at the negotiation table and stepping into court.