Many people understand the difference between separate and marital assets. Separate assets usually include whatever each spouse owned at the beginning of a marriage as well as inheritances in the names of the individual spouses. Marital assets include property obtained and accumulated during the marriage.
If you suspect that your spouse has hidden assets as you plan your divorce, talk to a family law attorney. Your lawyer can also help you determine how your assets are likely to be classified: separate, marital or mixed-character.
The designation of separate versus marital assets (community property) can be made complicated when spouses commingle assets during a marriage. For example, a husband may own a house at the time of the marriage, but the couple may share responsibility for mortgage payments and home upkeep, using a joint checking account or other co-owned funds. Or a wife may own investments which the couple adds to during the marriage using “community funds,” or in other words, jointly-owned financial assets.
In these scenarios, when it comes time to divide the property as part of a divorce settlement, it may be necessary to hire specialized accounting experts who can determine a fair division of mixed-character assets.
An intelligent divorce lawyer will keep you informed of costs versus projected benefits of making the investment in this type of forensic accounting. For an asset of limited value such as a car, it may be more to your benefit for you and your spouse to make your own agreement. But for an asset worth millions of dollars, such as a profitable business, detailed accounting to determine a fair split of mixed-character assets may be a very worthwhile investment.
Talk to a knowledgeable Arizona divorce lawyer about complex property division issues such as dividing mixed-character assets and uncovering hidden assets. Does your spouse own property overseas? Does he or she operate a home-based business that makes it difficult to determine which assets are used for the business and which are for personal gain?
At Lasiter & Jackson, we provide understanding and compassion for the delicate issues associated with divorce and family law. Our attorneys are committed to obtaining positive results for each of our clients, and we strive to provide qualified case assessment at a reasonable cost.
Contact our law office in Phoenix, serving Maricopa County and Pinal County. Property division questions regarding mixed-character assets are welcome.