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Warning signs of hidden assets during property division

Michigan couples who find themselves at the end of a marriage are likely thinking about who will get what when they each go their separate ways. Some items, like a house or even a family pet, are not things that can be divided up. A divorcing couple will, however, need to find ways to split up their financial assets in the event of a divorce.

Unfortunately, when one partner gets paid in cash from a business, it can pose challenges during property division. Customers often pay in cash when dining out, and companies that provide outdoor and indoor home services also deal often with cash. Some individuals may get paid in cash for consulting jobs they do on the side.

In Michigan, most anything acquired by a couple together during the marriage will be reviewed by a judge, who will divide it up on the basis of what that judge considers fair under the circumstances. It is vital, therefore, to present an accurate picture of the couple's shared finances, because any assets that one partner conceals can result in a settlement that is not fair to the other.

A divorcing spouse concerned about a partner's cash-only business should consider any times when that person made large transactions in cash, particularly involving luxuries like boats, high-end automobiles or even a second home. Some individuals prone to living off of secret cash funds will proudly talk about duping the IRS - a clue that such a person may try the same tactic in a family court.

A divorcing partner who just wants to turn the page and get the process over with might not feel like it is worth the time and effort to uncover an ex's hidden financial assets; however, fraud during property division can have long-term ramifications on alimony calculations, child support and other elements of a divorce settlement. A legal professional specialized in divorce and property division under Michigan law can help conduct a thorough investigation which takes all marital property into account.

Source: Forbes, "What A Divorcing Woman Needs To Know About Her Husband's Cash-Based Business," Jeff Landers, Jan. 30, 2013

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