Centuori & Alcoverde, P.C.

The end of a marriage can be a hectic time for many in Arizona, and it is all too easy to miss important items on one's to-do list. This is especially true in financial matters, where there can be a complex blend of asset types and accompanying documentation. The outcome of property division will have a lasting impact, and spouses should make it a priority to ensure that all assets are accounted for as part of the negotiation process during divorce.

According to one study, as many as 15 percent of consumers are hiding a bank account from their partner or spouse. Among those same respondents, 14 percent reported lying about their income. For spouses who feel that their partner could be hiding assets, it may be worthwhile to hire a forensic accountant to review the family's finances.

It should also be said that not every case of overlooked wealth is due to acts of fraud. In some cases, spouses may have simply forgotten about an asset. An example would be a pension earned from a job that ended many years ago. Another asset type that is often passed over are savings bonds, which may have been long ago stored in a drawer or file and forgotten about.

Arizona spouses would also be well advised to take a close look at all assets, even those that they believe are not considered subject to division during divorce. Laws vary from state to state, but it is worth the time and effort to examine each and every source of wealth to determine if that asset should become part of the property division process. Those who have moved from one state to another are especially vulnerable to missing out on overlooked assets. 

Source: cnbc.com, "Breaking up is hard to do: Protecting assets in divorce", Kelli B. Grant, Jan. 17, 2016

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