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Hidden assets complicate property division

In many marriages, there is a bifurcation of responsibilities. And, in most marriages, one of the spouses handles most, if not all, of the financial responsibilities, even if both spouses work. And, that spouse may not be the primary breadwinner. In the Juneau, Alaska, divorce process, when it comes time to divide the marital estate (property division), the person who handled the finances had an opportunity to hide assets.

I do not think my soon-to-be ex-spouse would do that

For some who are amicably divorcing, the idea that their spouse would steal from them is unthinkable. However, hiding assets and debts, also known as financial infidelity, is common in the United States. It affects as many as 30% of marriages here, which lead as many as 10% of these couples to divorce as a result. This means that even if you trust your soon-to-be ex-spouse, it is still possible they committed or are still committing financial infidelity.

How would I even know?

Even if you are involved with your finances, you may not know that your spouse is committing financial infidelity. Remember, everything you both earn during the marriage is part of the Juneau, Alaska, marital estate, and if they are setting some of their money aside, that is still part of the marital estate. This means that they may be thinking they are saving “their money,” but it is actually your money too (as is the money you earn as well). This is how the property division process can become so complicated.

Are there red flags?

Of course, there may be some inadvertent asset hiding that we will discover through the normal Juneau, Alaska, property division process. However, are there red flags for more nefarious asset and debt hiding? Yes.

The first and primary red flag is secrecy. If they avoid talking about your finances and debts, change the subject when you bring it up and hide the bank and financial documents, they are likely hiding assets and debts.

The next red flag is if you noticed unaccounted for withdrawals. These could be small periodic amounts or large withdrawals. These amounts could be for debt servicing or to fund other accounts.

It can feel overwhelming

This entire process can feel overwhelming, especially the property-division process. It is okay to ask for help. This can be from your Juneau, Alaska, divorce attorney, CPA, forensic account, etc.