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Arizona divorce: How to tell if your spouse is hiding assets

Many Arizona married couples share all things equally regarding their finances. They have jointly owned bank accounts and are transparent regarding spending habits, savings and other financial issues. Other spouses, however, leave financial tasks to one or the other spouse. Either way, if a divorce occurs, both spouses must be aware of all assets and liabilities that will affect settlement.

If a spouse wishes to gain the upper hand in property division proceedings, he or she may attempt to hide assets in divorce. It is not fair to the other spouse, and it also happens to be illegal. A judge overseeing such proceedings is not likely to look favorably on a spouse who tries to beat the system to keep his or her ex from obtaining a fair share of community property. 

There are several common ways spouses attempt to hide assets. One way is to only deposit part of an income into a jointly owned bank account while depositing the rest of it into a private account. If an asset-hiding spouse is a business owner, the scheme to hide marital property might include accepting cash only for clients' payments, which often leaves no written documentation of a payment. Some spouses ask friends or relatives to hold money for them until a divorce is finalized.

Then again, many spouses literally stash cash in hiding places around the house. The number one location to hide money is in a drop ceiling. If a concerned spouse suspects that his or her ex is not being forthright regarding marital property, it's wise to further investigate the situation. If the spouse questions his or her ex about a financial matter and is met with confrontation or a highly defensive attitude, it might be a sign that there is a hidden asset problem.

A divorce attorney experienced in property division and litigation knows what type of evidence to look for regarding hidden assets. Such an attorney also knows what to do to bring such matters to the court's attention. A judge can hold an asset-hiding spouse in contempt of court. An attorney can protect a client's interests to ensure that he or she receives a fair settlement.

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