Hidden assets may complicate divorce in Kentucky

No two situations are exactly the same, and it's up to every Kentucky married couple to determine the course of their future. Some will be among others throughout the nation who choose to divorce. Proceedings may be rather simple, with little to no obstacles arising in the process. Others may face significant challenges regarding child custody, business issues or hidden assets.

The latter is a common problem, especially when high net worth is involved. Kentucky is part of the nation's majority when it comes to property division laws. This means that although jointly owned assets will not necessarily be divided 50/50, the court will determine a fair distribution between spouses.

A common means for keeping assets out of the court's reach is to convert cash to purchase items such as furniture or artwork. The spouse may then underreport the value of said inventory. After a divorce is finalized, items can be sold for their correct market value, thus retrieving cash that should have been included in the divorce proceedings.

Paying employees that don't exist or paying back fake debts are other ways spouses hide assets. If money is disappearing from a joint account and a spouse is not satisfied with an explanation given for the disappearance, further investigation is definitely warranted. Surprisingly, family members and friends often help spouses hide assets by holding money or luxury items for them until a settlement is achieved. 

Divorce is typically an emotional experience, but Kentucky law obligates every spouse to act within its constraints during all proceedings. An attorney can assist a concerned spouse who suspects hidden asset problems. A family court will not take kindly to evidence that a party willfully withheld disclosure of marital assets, and a judge may even penalize the property division share of the offending party in appropriate circumstances.

Source: wife.org, "Where to Search for Hidden Assets During Divorce", Candace Bahr, June 13, 2017

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