Michigan is an equitable distribution state, meaning that during the divorce process marital assets are divided in a way that is fair, but not necessarily equal. While you’ll have to be prepared to argue why you’re entitled to the value of assets you claim that you’re entitled to, you don’t want to cut yourself short by failing to address all assets in the marital estate. This means you have to clearly differentiate between separate and marital property, and you also have to know how to spot red flags for hidden assets.
How can you tell if assets are being hidden?
There are a number of red flags that you can look for if you’re concerned about your spouse hiding assets. Here are some of them:
- A history of dishonesty: If you’re spouse has lied to you in the past, then you should be more skeptical when it comes to assessing the marital estate.
- Your spouse controls the finances: If you’re spouse has had power over marital finances during the course of your relationship, then you need to carefully scrutinize your marriage’s financial records. After all, it’d be easy for your spouse to hide assets from you without you knowing it.
- Payments to unknown parties: If your bank records show that large withdrawals are being taken or payments are being made to an unknown party, then you’ll want to dig deeper to figure out what’s going on. Your spouse could be trying to stash cash away to remove it from the marital estate.
- Your spouse underreports income: This is common for those who work in jobs that allow for cash payments or under the table payments, but they should probably be looped into the marital estate.
Take the steps you need to protect your interests
These are just some of the red flags that you could see indicating that your spouse is hiding assets from you. If you suspect that this is occurring, then you may need additional assistance to ensure that you’re getting a fair shake of marital assets during the property division.