People going through a divorce are often angry and hurting. Those intense emotions can produce irrational and cruel behavior in people who are usually kind and reasonable adults.
One of the many ways that people can try to twist divorce proceedings to hurt their spouse involves financial manipulation. People lash out at their soon-to-be ex by trying to deprive them of their fair share of marital resources during the divorce.
You need to be on the lookout for three of the most common ways that people play financial tricks on their spouse in divorce proceedings.
Watch for signs of undeclared or hidden assets
You will want to look over financial reports and the inventory provided by your spouse carefully. If there is income unaccounted for or if you notice obvious omissions, like their classic car collection, from the property inventory, that could be a sign that you need to dig deeper.
Hidden assets unfairly alter the outcome of property division by limiting the pool of property that the courts no they can divide.
Be on the lookout for dissipation of your assets
Some people sell the cabin to one of their co-workers for less than 10% of its fair market value. Others give away thousands of dollars worth of property or money. Sometimes, they plan to recover those assets after the divorce. Other times, the goal is just to diminish the value of the marital estate, which constitutes dissipation.
If your spouse has started selling or giving away your property, you can ask the courts to consider that when they divide your property. It’s worth noting that spending money for an extramarital affair will also fall in to this category and could affect property division.
Don’t turn a blind eye to frivolous spending
Some people will rack up a ton of debt as a way to punish their spouse, thinking that their spouse will have to help them pay it off. While debts are subject to division, debts accrued to reduce the marital estate are also a form of dissipation in many cases.
If you can show that your spouse played any financial tricks, you and your attorney may be able to ask the courts to factor that in to their property division ruling.