All to often, one half of a married couple is uninformed as to the financial state of the relationship. This happens for many reasons. For some, it is because they are not interested in the financial area of their marriage so they choose to remain uninformed. For others, it is simply because they have become accustomed to their significant other handling the finances and bills. It is for this reason that some go from being uninformed to being uninvited when it comes to a pending divorce on the horizon.

It is not an insult to admit that you have no interest in the financial realm of a marriage. It certainly isn't uncommon for one party to solely handle this area. However, it is becoming more and more frequent that during a divorce, one half is admittedly not in control of the money or assets. It is also not uncommon that in these situations, when a divorce is looming, these finances and assets may decrease, or disappear altogether.hiding assets

There are, however, some things that can be done in order to circumvent these scenarios. Being consciously aware of income sources, banking transactions, and expenditures can assist you during a divorce on many levels. Not only will it help you to be prepared for when your day comes in court, it may also help you to remain organized and outcome oriented. Keeping track of monthly bills, credit card, and other debt and expenditures will also assist in accounting for monetary transactions. It may help explain where some of the income is going. It will also assist you in discovering that money or assets may be missing, or decreasing in ways that cannot be explained.

Here are some ways you can tell if money or assets are being hidden from you:

* A noticeable decrease in salary may be a big indicator of income deference. This is when an individual is able to have their company withhold a portion of their paycheck, bonuses, or commissions for payout at a later date. This will keep the money off record.

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* Overpaying debt and/or creditors, even the IRS, is also a warning sign that an attempt to conceal debt may be occurring. When intentional overpayments happen, that means the payee is entitled to a refund proportionate to the overage paid. These refunds often take a while to process, and sometimes may be deferred, or sent to another address. When they are in the form of a check, rather than a direct deposit, the receiver usually has up to one full year to cash it before it becomes void. Enough of these over payments may provide a substantial nest egg.

* Being uninformed to being uninvited. This is when you decide to start inquiring as to the financial condition of your marriage, and your partner becomes very defensive or secretive about earnings, savings, and assets. when you are given anything but a straight answer backed up by verifiable records, you may have a reason to worry. A good family law attorney will know just what to do. If you find yourself in the “uniformed to uninvited” category, you should seek legal representation immediately.

Trisha Festerling, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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