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Financial infidelity: The problem of hidden assets in divorce

Marriages do not always end well, and when it's time for a divorce, people can sometimes get desperate. Hidden assets in divorce proceedings are more common than you might think. In fact, some spouses will even build a stash of cash in secret before they finally pull the trigger on the divorce process.

The National Endowment for Financial Education says that two out of every three marriages results in hidden assets. Furthermore, nine out of ten divorce attorneys say that their clients actively investigate whether their spouses have been hiding money. They might look through their soon-to-be ex's emails, check for PayPal messages or look at their social media accounts for the tell-tale signs of financial infidelity.

The easiest way to find hidden assets to check a spouse's internet browser history, use a spying app on shared computers or install a hidden GPS device on your spouse's vehicle.

If hidden assets are found, Florida family law courts will view the actions of hiding the assets as unlawful. The spouse who hides the assets in a divorce will usually be punished. It doesn't matter if your spouse transferred a chunk of assets to a friend or family member, or to an overseas bank account, courts will generally punish him or her for the wrongdoing by awarding you more of the marital estate as a result.

If you're involved in a complex asset division matter, it's possible that your spouse is hiding assets from you. Even if you only partially suspect your spouse could be hiding assets from you, be sure to discuss the matter with a qualified divorce lawyer. Your lawyer can take swift legal action to protect your property division rights in court.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Uncovering Hidden Assets in Divorce Litigation," David Centeno, accessed June 01, 2017

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