Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Divorce: Hidding Assets. What to Look for.

If you’re going through divorce, you need to ask yourself is your husband (wife) hiding assets?

Hiding assets during a divorce is sneaky, unethical and illegal –but it happens much more frequently than most would expect.

What to look for:

Purchase items that could easily be overlooked or undervalued. Maybe no one will notice that expensive antique/carpet that’s now at his office? Were you wondering why they recently made several significant additions to his coin/stamp/art collection?

Stash money in a safe deposit box, somewhere in the house or elsewhere. Think through your spouse’s recent habits and activities. Does anything lead you to believe they is hiding assets in actual cash?

Underreport income on tax returns and/or financial statements. If it’s not reported, it can’t be used in a financial analysis.

Overpay the IRS or creditors. If your spouse overpays, they can get the refund later, after the divorce is final.

Defer salary, delay signing new contracts and/or hold commissions or bonuses. This sneaky trick means this income won’t be “on the books” during the divorce proceedings.
Create phony debt. Your spouse can collude with family members and/or friends to establish phony loans or expenses. Then, they can make payments to the family members or friends, knowing that they’ll get all the money back after the divorce is final.

Set up a custodial account in the name of a child, using the child’s social security number. They could also use his girlfriend’s social security number, in which case it might be difficult to locate the account.

Transfer stock. Your spouse may transfer stock/investment accounts into the name of family members, business partners or “dummy” companies. After the divorce is final, the assets can be transferred back to him.

The list goes on and on . . . and it certainly begs the question: Why would a spouse do any of these things? There are many possible reasons. They may fear not having enough money after the divorce. They may feel they are getting revenge for an infidelity. Maybe they are just greedy and feel that they deserve it! Whatever the reason, hiding assets, income and debt is not only unethical; it’s also illegal and subject to severe penalties if discovered.

But even so, the burden of proof is often on the spouse with less financial resources (typically the woman) to prove any such unscrupulous behavior.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Just an Opinion

Today’s Arizona Republic had an interesting point of view in the Opinion Section of the paper.

The opinion of Derek McClintock of Phoenix went as follows:
“I read with great interest Cathi Herrod's viewpoint on the importance of marriage as a "fundamental building block of our society" ("Support of tried-and-true tradition of man-woman nuptials will grow," Viewpoints, Sunday).
With the great weight Herrod attaches to this institution and her obvious expertise in citing "study after study" regarding wealth creation and child rearing, I have a simple question.
Would not the greatest threat to this institution be divorce and not expanding the boundaries of the current definition of marriage to include a small minority of the population?

I would like to propose an innovative solution that not only includes the small gay and lesbian population who want to legally recognize their relationships as others are free to do, but also severely penalizes anyone divorcing themselves from these marriage contracts since doing so poses such a threat to the very foundations of our republic.

I would think that libertarians would welcome such a fiscally responsible solution. And this actually has the added benefit of not being a thinly veiled argument of exclusion and prejudice.

-- Derek McClintock, Phoenix

Now I respect everyone’s right to have an opinion and especially a religious opinion such as this but I don’t think this was completely thought through.  While I am a firm believer in the sanctity of marriage and that all marriages if they can be saved should be when they come upon troubled times but there are scenarios when divorce is the only solution and in those times the person that files for divorce should not be penalized.  I of course am speaking of times when domestic violence rears its ugly head.
Is it fair to fine or penalize a woman or a man who is trying to escape violence?  Is it fair for a man or woman who only option is divorce in order to protect the children from an attacker who is a parent?  Should someone be forced to stay in a marriage were one of the parents is sexually molesting the children?

I am in agreement with religions that believe that marriage is serious business and should be saved but I must part ways with a dogma that would force someone to stay in an abusive and possibly fatal situation.  A persons’ safety and that of the children should be out and fortunately the legislator and judiciary of the State of Arizona agrees with me.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

How do I modify an existing modifiable spousal maintenance Order?

Unless the parties previously agreed that the spousal maintenance award was non-modifiable, a parent may attempt to modify and/or terminate an award of spousal maintenance for a variety of reasons. One of the more common reasons spouses seek to modify spousal maintenance occurs when a spouse experiences a substantial and continuing change of income and/or living expenses.

The court understands that on many occasions one spouse’s circumstance will change over time and it is necessary to ask for a modification of the prior “Decree of Dissolution”. This could be due to the loss of a job or reduction in income of one spouse, or health issues and medical bills which may arise due to illness of a child. It is especially important to modify the Decree of Dissolution if circumstances have changed and they are affecting the “best interest” of any of the children involved. It is important to put together all documentation and witnesses who could support your claim that a Modification is immediately necessary.

A spouse seeking to modify and/or terminate a spousal maintenance order must file a petition for modification and attend a hearing at which time evidence is presented in support of the requested modification and/or termination. Discount Divorce & Bankruptcy is very experianced at handling just such documents and can manage all court processing and filing.