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Hidden assets could impact the asset division process in divorce

There are a lot of things people worry about when filing for divorce. Some common concerns include how to divide the custody of minor children, possession of the family home and the division of assets. When it comes to asset division, the more assets in your marriage, the greater the potential for contention and disagreement about how to fairly divide them between spouses. If you can't agree on your own, then the courts will have to take over and resolve the matter.

Many couples in Kentucky find themselves unable to agree on terms for asset division. As a result, it's quite common for the courts to have to decide how to split up the marital assets of couples divorcing. In order to fairly handle the asset division process, the courts need to have accurate information about the assets and debts of both spouses.

In some cases, however, one spouse may take steps to keep assets from the other spouse and the courts before and during a divorce. Sometimes, that means giving away or selling assets for very low prices. Other times, it means hiding them.

You may need professional help to find hidden assets

In order to locate hidden assets, you will need access to certain financial records, including tax records, pay records and banking records. In some cases, the help of a forensic accountant may prove necessary. However, most attempts to hide assets prior to a divorce leave a paper trail. Small deposits into secret accounts and regular cash withdrawals are common means of diverting funds in anticipation of a divorce.

Sometimes, people will hide assets by purchasing items they know their spouse will have no interest in keeping. Collectibles and similar items, like fine art, can hold substantial value. Research into your financial records can determine the price paid for an item. Conferring with professionals with expertise on the topic can help you establish a reasonable current market value for items as well.

Hidden assets unfairly skew the asset division process

The intention behind both intentional dissipation of marital assets or hiding assets prior to a divorce is to deprive the other spouse of its value. Once you locate and place a value on hidden assets, you have a chance for a more fair asset division process.

Under Kentucky law, the courts strive for an equitable division of assets by looking at a number of factors. These include the length of the marriage, the contributions of each spouse (including stay-at-home parents and homemakers) and the economic circumstances of each spouse. The courts can then decide how to most fairly split the assets between spouses. Your best hope for a fair outcome is to ensure you locate any assets your spouse hid.