Divorce can bring out the worst in some people. Many seem to act in a manner that is quite different from who they are most of the time. When emotions run high, poor behavior can be a consequence. Even if you’re trying your best to stay calm and rational, your spouse could succumb to the temptation to act out during your divorce.
When that happens, you could have to deal with a host of problems. One common way people try to punish their spouses for wanting a divorce is to attempt to skew the asset division process. It doesn’t take much time or energy to create a secret account or to hide a few items of substantial value. If you have any reason to suspect that your ex wants to adversely impact the asset division process in your divorce, you need to take steps to protect yourself.
Alabama courts do their best to divide assets fairly
The primary consideration in the asset division process of an Alabama divorce is fair and equitable distribution of all marital assets and debts. Any possessions or accounts you acquired during marriage, as well as any debts, will end up divided between you and your spouse by the courts, barring a legally-sound prenuptial agreement.
Part of the asset division process involves reporting your assets to the courts. It’s possible for one spouse to intentionally omit significant assets from this report in the hope of avoiding having to share those assets.
Copies of financial records can help you track down assets
It’s always a good idea to make sure you have digital or physical copies of all financial records from your marriage. Everything from income tax statements to account and credit reports can help you locate all of the debts and assets from your marriage.
For those with sizable marital estates, working with a forensic accountant is usually a great idea. These professionals can carefully review every single document and transaction, look for missing funds and patterns that could indicate an attempt to build or hide a cash reserve. There could be debts that represent an attempt to dissipate marital assets to avoid sharing them with you.
There are many ways for your spouse to hide assets. He or she may have a large amount of cash built up over time through regular, but small, withdrawals from shared accounts. There could also be substantial value in physical assets you have no desire to retain, like collectibles or jewelry. Sometimes, the funds are hidden in secret bank accounts. The sad fact is that if you can’t locate those assets to report them to the courts, you won’t receive a fair portion of your marital estate.