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Divorce: What if a spouse disregards Wisconsin laws?

When you decided to divorce, your top concerns were your children and making sure you are in a stable financial condition so that you can provide for your kids and yourself as you adapt to a new lifestyle. You may be able to relate to other spouses and parents who say they really just wanted to leave the past behind and move on in life with a fresh start.

Wisconsin is a community property state. This means the judge overseeing your case will divide your marital property 50/50 between you and your spouse. If you're worried that your spouse is trying to beat the system so you don't get a fair deal, remember that hiding assets in divorce is illegal. If this is a concern of yours, it's a good idea to know how to investigate your suspicions and where to seek support if you discover evidence.

Places to look for hidden assets

The purpose of a hidden asset scheme is basically to stash cash or hide assets to keep their value out of property division proceedings. The following list includes the most common means spouses use to attempt to fool the court and walk away with more than they're entitled to own:

  • Overpaying on tax forms is a sneaky way to hide assets. If you think your spouse would do something like this, it's a good idea to carefully review your most recent tax returns.
  • Have you reviewed your credit card statements lately? Overpaying on a credit card is also a common means of hiding money in divorce.
  • If you have jointly owned bank accounts, you'll want to make sure your spouse has not made withdrawals without your knowledge. If there's money missing, and your spouse becomes defensive or combative when you inquire about it, it definitely warrants further investigation.
  • Did your spouse recently give money to a family member or friend? Spouses hiding assets often do this, claiming they are lending money to others or are paying back loans.
  • It's also common for spouses to literally stash money in hiding places around their homes. You can check closets, drawers, a garage, an attic or even underneath a mattress if you suspect your spouse is doing this.

As mentioned earlier, hiding assets in divorce is illegal. It's also morally objectionable, and it definitely doesn't help you accomplish your goals of settling your divorce in a swift and amicable fashion so you can get on with your life and leave the past behind.

Wisconsin law is on your side

Some people hesitate to reach out for support when they suspect a spouse of hiding assets because they're embarrassed or worry that their spouse might try to make things even worse.

Just remember that there are laws in place to govern property division, and you have the right to a fair settlement. You can reach out for support to protect your rights and the best interests of your children.

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