Determining a fair settlement in a divorce can present many challenges. You and your spouse may not readily agree on the ways to divide your marital property.
Additional complications can arise if you feel your partner has not disclosed all their assets during the legal process.
In a divorce, Colorado law requires both parties to disclose all their assets and liabilities, such as sources of income, retirement accounts, investments, real estate holdings and debts. The courts use this information to ensure an equitable distribution of marital property and to determine spousal maintenance and child support amounts. False asset reporting is illegal and can result in contempt of court charges, jail time and fines.
Noticing the signs of concealed assets
There are many ways someone can try to hide valuable property during a divorce, including:
- Keeping a secret bank account
- Overpaying taxes
- Giving money or property to family or friends
- Undervaluing tangible items
- Reporting a significant loss or decrease in salary
- Sending payroll checks to a post office box
Discovering hidden property
When you believe your spouse is concealing assets, you have options for uncovering the property and securing a fair agreement. First, gather documents you can legally access, such as bank account statements, tax returns, insurance policies, credit card statements and loan applications. A forensic accountant can help you review documents, assess spending habits, conduct searches of public records and analyze business transactions.
Understanding your legal rights and uncovering hidden assets can help you secure a fair settlement, allowing you to start the next phase of your life on a healthy financial foundation.