When going through a divorce it is necessary to place a value on items deemed to be community property, which includes all assets and debts acquired by either spouse during the course of the marriage. There are some exceptions, such as property acquired by gift or inheritance, or property acquired prior to the marriage or after the separation.
If your spouse has maintained complete control of all banking information, is secretive about his or your financial affairs, deletes or clears financial programs like QuickBooks™, or maintains a questionable relationship with financial advisors, you may need to consider searching for hidden assets during your divorce. If you can discover hidden assets and expose those to the court, the judge will handle disputes of property and accounts much differently, and more likely in your favor.
Matrimonial bankruptcy law is a section of law that deals with bankruptcy and divorce. Lawyers practicing in this area help spouses determine and manage their debts following divorce.
In the world of magic, one of the hardest tricks is to make an object disappear. Magicians spend countless hours working to convincingly make objects vanish from view. Unfortunately, magicians are not the only ones capable of performing disappearing acts. During divorce, one spouse may try to make assets disappear from the view of the ex-partner. Assets include everything from a piece of property, to a boat, to a baseball autographed by Babe Ruth. Regardless of what form it takes, a hidden asset is an omitted asset.
A recent out of state court ruling may lead divorcing couples to rethink provisions in their settlements as it pertains to their children's college education commitments. The potential consequences of such a ruling fall on divorcing parents, who might now be reluctant to accept a commitment to fund a college education as part of their settlement, and their college-bound children who might face a more uncertain future.
An often overlooked but eminently important area of divorce is the changing of beneficiaries on retirement plans, insurance policies and other financial instruments or holdings. Upon final settlement and with legal guidance, people who have divorced should conduct an entire review of the beneficiaries listed on their various assets, and make changes where appropriate. A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling underscored both the importance of changing beneficiaries, and the possible adverse consequences of failing to do so.
The hardships and repercussions that the current financial crisis is wreaking upon people's lives have now moved from the present and future, and reached back into the past. New revelations from the Bernard Madoff scandal have underscored the importance of both complete transparency, and valuation methods used, as they relate to equitable divorce settlements. Whether valuing businesses, real estate holdings, illiquid hedge fund investments or other financial stakes, divorcing parties should obtain multiple valuations from reputable and independent experts.