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    When a divorce is being considered, it can be very tempting to hide assets from the other party. People often have concerns that their spouse will get everything, leaving them with nothing and forcing them to rebuild their life completely from scratch. It’s understandable to have these concerns, but with hidden assets, Ft. Lauderdale men have serious legal problems down the road, often putting them in a worse financial state than they would have been in initially. If hidden assets are discovered during divorce proceedings, the judge may choose to take punitive action against the party who chose to hide the assets in the first place.

    But what’s considered a hidden asset? Hidden assets are financial assets that are moved around to keep the other party in the divorce from getting a share of it. It can include:

    • Bonuses or raises you’ve asked your boss to retain until after the divorce.
    • False debt paid to family or friends who will return the money after the divorce.
    • Art, antiques, collectible items or other assets that have a high resale value.
    • Cash stashed away so there’s no paper trail of where it went.
    • Failing to claim investment accounts, such as retirement or company stock.

    What is considered marital property? The first step taken by an attorney is to determine what debt and assets are considered separate property and which ones are considered marital property. Florida is an equitable distribution state, rather than a community property state, so you can expect that the assets purchased and invested in during a divorce to be split equally between the parties. The exception to this is when there is reason that an unequal split should be considered, such as:

    • Contributions to the marriage and family.
    • How long the marriage lasted.
    • The economic circumstances of both parties.
    • Interruption of career or education due to the marriage.
    • Actions taken to boost the other party’s career or education.
    • Situations where the equal dispersal of assets would be directly harmful to a business due to an adversarial relationship.
    • Contributions to income by each party.
    • The desire to retain a child’s home intact for the child’s residence.
    • Intentionally getting rid of or devaluing assets.

    If you’re not sure whether some of your assets could be considered hidden assets, Ft. Lauderdale men should find out before being hit with serious legal and financial penalties because you misunderstood the applicable laws. Though much of your joint financial records may be revealed during discovery, if you or your spouse feel there are items missing, it’s important to consider how to proceed at that point so that you’re protected.

    When it comes to hidden assets, Ft. Lauderdale attorneys at Kenny Leigh & Associates can ensure that assets protected from divorce remain protected while advising you on how to find proof that your spouse is hiding assets illegally. Please contact us to find out how to protect yourself during a divorce. We’ve represented Florida men for many years and are ready to help you protect your assets.