In previous blog posts, we discussed certain actions that could be a sign of a spouse dissipating (or hiding) marital assets. These include excessive spending or even loaning money to another person, just to obtain a refund after the divorce is final.
It is important to be aware of these potential signs. However, what can you do if you recognize them, and believe your spouse is purposefully hiding assets for the purpose of keeping them away from you?
Three steps to consider in these cases
You may suspect that your spouse is dissipating assets, but proving it can be complex. Here are a few things you can do:
- Know your finances: One of the first steps you should take when you consider divorce is to understand the details of all your financial accounts. Take an inventory of the totals in your accounts, obtain accurate appraisals of your property and make a note of your bills and monthly expenses to get a full picture of your financial situation.
- Document everything: U.S. News and World Report notes how important it is to document any and all uses of your marital funds before and during the divorce. This is actually a critical step whether or not you suspect the dissipation of assets. Documenting all spending and use of funds will help you keep track of your property during the divorce. However, it will also give you a record you can refer to in order to prove your spouse is using marital assets for their own purposes.
- Seek guidance: It is often helpful to consult professional guidance in these cases. A financial or legal professional can help you investigate this issue and protect your finances.
North Carolina law dictates a fair, equitable distribution of marital property in a divorce. The attempt to dissipate assets goes against this directly. You have a right to a fair share of your marital property, and you can take steps to protect that right.