Financial Matters in Divorce | Arkansas Family Lawyer

Getting your criminal record expunged or sealed can improve your chances in getting a job interview, however, there is a large public misconceptions as to what expungment actually means or how it works. The following are frequently asked questions concerning expungment.

Q: What should I do to protect myself financially during a divorce?

A: Gather all of the financial information you are aware of so you can share that information with your attorney. Most of this information will be part of the discovery process. You will need to determine what property you own, when you acquired it, it’s value, and how it is titled. You should also know the physical whereabouts of all of your assets. If property is missing or you suspect that your spouse may have acquired property without your knowledge, be sure to share this information with your attorney.

Q: Should I close bank accounts?/p>

A: This is a perfectly legitimate measure to protect yourself during a divorce, however, you must be prepared to account for the money withdrawn. If you cannot prove how the money was used it may delay settlement of your case and provoke your spouse to do the same.

Q: What should I do about property or money in a safe deposit box?<


A. If the account is joint, conduct an inventory with a witness and document the contents. If you need to keep the contents safe until a restraining order can be obtained you can put the contents in another safe deposit box or another safe place. Again, you will need to conduct an inventory with a neutral third party witness and document the contents. A bank employee would serve this purpose better than someone you know.

Q: What will the Court do if I hide assets?

A: IIf either party takes an affirmative step to hide assets or knowingly fails to disclose assets you are committing fraud and could be held in contempt of court, even if it is discovered after the divorce is final.

Q: What is dissipation of assets?

A: Expenditure of assets for activities and items that do not favor common marital interests during the period of marital breakdown is presumed to be dissipation and subject to reimbursement by the spouse that dissipated the assets. If it is discovered that a spouse has dissipated assets the remedy is to pay all of that back into the estate and the non-offending spouse is awarded all of the amount, not just half.

Q: Should I close all my joint credit card accounts?

A: This depends on how much you trust your spouse and whether they have a history of financial irresponsibility. If you are afraid your spouse my run up the debt and cause you to get half of it you should close the account; if not you can leave them in place and agree to pay for debt that you acquired on the card after the separation or otherwise equitably divide the debt.

Q: How can I find hidden assets?

A: This is a very meticulous process. You should check financial statements issued by your spouse, income tax returns, corporate returns, partnership returns, cancelled checks and check registers from all of the above, savings account passbook, securities and stock accounts, deferred bonuses or commissions, safe deposit box activity, cash transactions, children’s bank accounts, any other retirement of savings plans that you know about or suspect your spouse may have. It may be necessary to hire a professional for this service. It may be expensive, but it could pay you many times over in the end. Your lawyer should be able to provide you with a list to give you a head start on this.

Financial matters are extremely important during a divorce and should be carefully scrutinized to endure a fair and equitable settlement.