Most local community members understand the basic idea of property distribution in a divorce. Property is deemed either marital or separate. At divorce, all property that is deemed marital will be split between the two spouses. Each individual spouse keeps their separate property. While that basic concept is somewhat simple, sorting out the details can be quite complex and contentious. Our Santa Rosa divorce attorneys work closely with local residents on this process, helping to ensure property is classified and distributed to maximize their interests.
One challenge to the property distribution process is simply uncovering all of the involved assets. It is quite common for a divorcing spouse to try to shield assets from the other during divorce. After all, if the other spouse does not known about certain property, they will not try to fight for it during the separation. In this way, hidden assets are always a concern in divorce law. Hiding assets is not something that only comes up with millionaires. Couples with varying martial asset values may face these issues.
Our North Bay area divorce lawyers are experienced with these concerns and are adept at noticing certain red flags they might suggest assets are being hidden. For one thing, when one spouse controls most of the financial information, is secretive about money issues, and owns private mailboxes, the potential for hidden assets is increased. Erratic behavior by that spouse might also raise suspicions, such as when a computer with financial information mysteriously crashes or personal finance programs are eliminated.
So how are assets hidden? Here a few of the more common methods…
1) Unrecorded cash in hidden bank accounts. Taking money from accounts and placing it in offshore bank accounts is relatively easy and attractive for those trying to hide assets in divorce.
2) Understating business revenue. Undervaluing known assets is also a common way that one spouse will try to pull one over on their ex. This is particularly possible in situations where businesses are involved. Revenue in the business can be deferred for a time to manipulate the value during the divorce process.
3) Transferring ownership of assets to a third party. Parents, siblings, and friends are often used to act as fake owners of property during a divorce with agreements for the property to return to the spouse after the divorce is finalized.
Each Santa Rosa divorce lawyer at our firm understands that these and similar tactics must always be guarded against. Financial statements are often difficult for some spouses to read, and so manipulations to them may go undetected. Divorce is always contentious, and it is made worse when underhanded tactics are used. That is one of many reasons why it is vital to have an experienced and aggressive legal professional on your side throughout this process. There is simply no alternative to having a legal advocate in your corner ensuring that your rights are protected and respected every step of the way.
The experienced attorneys at Beck Law P.C. are here to help. We serve residents in many areas including communities like Santa Rosa, Cotati, Rohnert Park, Petaluma, Windsor, Kenwood, Glen Ellen, Bodega Bay, Ukiah, Willits, Clearlake, Lakeport, Kelseyville and throughout Sonoma County, Mendocino County and Lake County.
Please take a moment to send us a message online or give us a call at 707-576-7175 to learn more about how you can take control of the divorce process.
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