For couples going through a divorce, dividing the marital property is one of the most difficult things that they will have to do. Under California law, each spouse is entitled to half of the assets they accumulated during the marriage.
Some spouses may be reluctant to reveal the extent of their finances. They look for ways to deceive the court and subject less of their assets to the divorce process. This post discusses some of the tricks that they may use, and what you can do to prevent this from happening to you.
Moving money around in accounts:
Most married couples share checking or savings accounts. They both contribute money into these accounts and take out funds when needed. All bills are paid from these accounts.
In some circumstances, your spouse may remove some of the money that goes into joint accounts. They may establish their own individual account and place the money here. If you do not have any idea that this is happening, things can seem normal to you. Without paying close attention, you may be missing out on a significant source of money that you may be entitled to receive.
Giving money to friends or family to hold on to until after the divorce is final:
This might happen under the guise of a loan or gift. Your spouse may take money or assets and attempt to give them to others. It may appear on its face to be a normal, regular transaction, but immediately after the divorce is final, the money is paid back. You have to be sure that any movement of funds is accounted for, and if your spouse is making loans to loved ones, this money has to be included in the final accounting for the court.
Telling you that you do not need to contact an attorney:
Your spouse may insist upon working out your divorce without having any experienced professionals involved. This is a giant red flag. If you are thinking of divorce or served with divorce papers, your very first step should be to reach out to an experienced divorce lawyer.Your attorney will be able to perform a thorough investigation into your finances to determine if everything is being handled properly.