Melbourne, FL Attorneys Offer Advice on Pre-Divorce Planning
Savvy steps to take if you anticipate marital dissolution
For many spouses, divorce papers come completely out of the blue. However, they soon find out that the emotional impact of being blindsided is not nearly as damaging as the financial consequences. While blissfully unaware of the spouse’s discontent, marital assets were being hidden in anticipation of the litigation to come. Having witnessed this scenario time and again, Tucker Mitnik, P.A. has concluded that our family law services must include pre-divorce planning. We work directly with spouses who anticipate a divorce to make sure that future financial disclosures will be complete and accurate. We also advise them on prudent steps to take to improve their standing in child custody negotiations.
How to recognize that your spouse might be hiding assets
You are entitled to an equitable distribution of all marital property. But, of course, the court can’t distribute what it can’t find. If you suspect your spouse is planning to serve you with divorce papers, it’s possible the person is also transferring assets to avoid claiming them. Signs that your spouse may be hiding income include:
- Your spouse is self-employed.
- Your spouse’s lifestyle does not match reported income.
- The ratio of your household’s expenses to income is unusually high.
- Your spouse’s business holdings include nonessential corporate entities.
- Reported business expenses don’t match the actual activity of the business.
- The business reports operating losses with no apparent consequence to operations.
What to do if your spouse is hiding assets in preparation for divorce
You may never have a better opportunity to examine your spouse’s finances than while you are still married. It takes a bit of sleuthing, but the steps you might take include:
- Hiring a private investigator to search for assets
- Requesting a credit report for yourself and your spouse
- Examining and copying financial records to which you have access
- Keeping track of financial statements that come in the mail
Once the court divides marital assets, that determination is final. But, naturally, there is an exception for fraud. If your spouse was initially successful in hiding an asset, but you discover evidence of the deception later, you can petition the court for post-divorce enforcement of an existing order or a re-examination in light of the new evidence.
For important advice on pre-divorce planning, contact our knowledgeable attorneys
Tucker Mitnik, P.A. provides a full range of family law services, including advice on pre-divorce planning. To better prepare for what may lie ahead, speak with an experienced divorce attorney about the steps necessary to secure your property rights. Call us today at 321.392.5239 or contact our Melbourne office online.