Protecting Your Assets in DivorceThe hope of anyone going through a divorce is to avoid turning those proceedings into a "battle" over potential custody issues or assets. A marital asset balance sheet is prepared in hopes of going about the process in a systematic, fair way. 

The Search for Hidden Assets
The goal of your divorce ruling should be to take out of the marriage what you put in. When both sides agree to those items, then there shouldn't be an issue. However, when the subject of hidden assets comes up, then things can become complicated. A proficient lawyer will set up your marital asset balance sheet in multiple columns that represent each year of your marriage. As an asset was acquired, it will be noted in the appropriate calendar. The opposing side will be looking to see that those assets are carried over year after year. If for some reason these assets "disappear," then it might be cause for alarm and questions of hidden assets would be raised. 

This same issue can come up if you suddenly declare that your earnings have dropped off, especially if that change occurred after you began discussing filing for divorce. It is best to stick with the facts. It will be extremely difficult to hide assets that you obtained during the marriage from the very person you shared those assets with. In other words, if you bought a jet ski on your honeymoon you can't turn around and say, "What jet ski?" when you're filing for a divorce. 

Plot Your Course of Action
You'll want to provide your divorce lawyer with all the facts pertaining to your financial history during your marriage. He/she will then be able to plot out your best course of action as you move forward with your divorce. Our attorneys at Smith Strong have been helping Virginia residents with their divorce proceedings for several years. Call 804.325.1245 (Richmond) or 757.941.4298 (Williamsburg) to discuss your current situation and help you plan for your future.