If you are divorcing in Florida, you will need to divide your property equitably. In short, this means you need to determine all the marital property and debts you have and then find a way to share them fairly. If you cannot work this out yourselves, then a judge will do it for you. The idea is that both parties leave the marriage feeling as if they have got a fair deal and are financially equipped to face the future.
The theory of equitable division only works when both parties are being honest. Sadly, this does not always happen. In many marriages, one person is the breadwinner, and they are often the person who controls the finances. Traditionally, this has been the husband, but it can be either spouse. It gives them a significant financial advantage in a divorce.
If your spouse betrayed your trust in other areas of your relationship, you might now wonder if trusting them with the finances was such a good idea.
These are some places that spouses commonly hide assets:
- Hobbies: Does your spouse have a hobby that bores you to tears when they start to talk about it? Perhaps they are in to antique cars or collecting obscure German first edition books. People often sink more money into their hobbies than they admit to their spouses. If there are any items they are particularly proud of, you may want to get them valued.
- At work: If your spouse is an employee, they may persuade the boss to delay their year-end bonus or disguise their actual salary. If they own a business, it becomes even easier to hide money.
- Friends and family: When your spouse withdrew money to pay back a long-standing loan to a friend or family member last year, you might not have thought anything of it. However, if it was the first time they mentioned the loan, it could have been a scheme to siphon money out of your joint account.
If you suspect your spouse has been hiding assets, in preparation for divorce, seek the help of an experienced Ocala divorce attorney. If needed, they can bring in a forensic accountant to investigate and ensure you get your fair share of the marital property.