No matter what your reasons were for filing the initial petition in Michigan court, the decision to legally end your marriage may evoke mixed emotions. As you begin to process your feelings and make plans for the future, you also no doubt hope to be able to achieve a fair settlement in a swift and amicable fashion. Divorce is never easy, although certain issues, such as hiding assets, can make it more difficult than it has to be.
In order for a family court judge to make a property division decision that is fair, he or she must be fully aware of all assets and liabilities on both sides. State law requires you and your spouse to be honest in disclosing assets that you own, as well as debts that you owe. If your former partner is trying to beat the system, it is not only unlawful but may cause you to receive less than you’re entitled to in your divorce.
How to know if your spouse is hiding assets
Hiding assets in a divorce is considered to be a type of financial infidelity. It is unlawful because it is a form of perjury. You can ask yourself the questions included in the following list to help you determine whether there might be hidden asset problems in your divorce:
- Has my spouse refused to explain certain debits on our credit card or withdrawals from our jointly owned bank account?
- Did he or she recently give someone money, saying it is a loan or repayment for a loan?
- Have I discovered secret credit cards or bank accounts that my spouse opened without my knowledge?
- Has his or her spending patterns or financial habits recently changed?
- Does my spouse get defensive or angry when I ask about financial issues?
If you answer yes to several (or even one) of these questions, it is enough to cause you to further investigate whether your spouse is hiding assets in a divorce. It is impossible for a judge to issue an equitable division of property if one of the spouses involved is being dishonest about assets or liabilities.
Your ex may be found in contempt of court
Trying to stop your ex from hiding assets in a divorce can be a complicated and stressful experience. Many spouses who encounter such challenges, however, take comfort in knowing that Michigan law is on their side. In fact, the court may intervene and hold a person in contempt for trying to keep assets from being subject to property division.