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Divorce asset division can’t be fair if a spouse is hiding wealth

Michigan law requires that divorcing spouses divide marital wealth equitably.

In a word, that means fairly. Although a fair property distribution doesn’t necessarily mean a close-to-precise accounting, it will turn out in most cases that asset division ultimately translates to something approximating equal value for both impending exes.

And that in turn premises a true accounting of all marital property. Assets figuring into the divisible property mix must be fully identified and accurately valued. That is often a chore of some significance; marital wealth can range broadly from realty holdings and bank accounts to company-sponsored retirement vehicles, heirlooms/collectibles and a family business.

Let’s consider that last-cited entry for a moment. What if a soon-to-be former partner is seeking to influence the distribution outcome by concealing divisible business assets?

Patently, that is unlawful. If a divorcing spouse suspects such an attempt, swift action should be taken to spotlight and prevent it. Asset concealment might be reasonably suspected by spousal conduct like the following:

  • Claims that consistently strong business performance is suddenly subpar
  • Claims that a string of company investments have recently soured and now materially harm rather than buttress the balance sheet
  • Claims that business debt levels have grown unduly challenging
  • Refusal to respond candidly and/or produce detailed records concerning company finances

Although that bulleted list obviously raises a number of problematic points, it is merely a limited sketch of behaviors motivated by an intent to hide assets. A divorcing spouse concerned by the prospect of asset concealment might reasonably want to contact a proven family law legal team with demonstrated experience in divorce-linked property division matters without delay.