Hidden Assets May Hinder the Equitable Distribution Process

Throughout your Virginia divorce, you may not initially imagine that your spouse may hide his or her assets from you. Unfortunately, it is more common than might think. At Family Law Group, we understand equitable property distribution and the risk of hidden assets.

Virginia is an equitable distribution state. When it comes to property division, any asset that you incur during the marriage or any assets that are gifted towards your marriage are marital property and hence subject to distribution. Some couples mistakenly believe that equitable distribution is the same as a 50-50 split of assets. It is not an equal division but instead a fair division of assets.

When a marriage dissolves, there may be a great deal of distrust between you and your partner. If your spouse does not want an asset subject to division, he or she may hide them. Typically, a spouse may deny the asset exists, transfer it to another person, or claim that he or she lost the asset.

In order to catch a spouse hiding assets, you have to provide documentation that proves your suspicion. Often, the best place to look first is in the past tax returns. Past tax returns may be full of red flags and discrepancies.

As you take inventory of your assets, do not forget to search through any hiding spots that may be in your home. For instance, some spouses will hide the assets in safes, deposit boxes or have important documents in a locked file cabinet. Equitable property division is not fair if there are hidden assets. More information about this subject is available on our page.