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Texas property division: Worried about hidden assets?

If you're one of many Texas spouses whose spousal relationship is contentious, which may be one of many reasons you've decided to divorce, you are not alone in your struggle. You hopefully will build a strong support network from the start, however, because confrontational situations often spill over into the courtroom.

Any number of factors may have caused a breakdown in your marriage. If financial abuse was one of them, you might be at great risk for a hidden asset problem in divorce. It's important to know how to recognize the signs of this type of scheme, and also important to realize that such actions are illegal.

Property division rules require full disclosure

Maybe you're used to your spouse lying to you about money. Perhaps there have been times during your marriage when your partner claimed to be paying bills but took the money for personal use instead. This type of behavior can weigh heavily on a marital relationship. It's not okay, and it is not okay in divorce, either.

For a Texas family court judge to be able to make fair decisions regarding division of marital property, you and your spouse must both agree to full disclosure of all assets and liabilities. If your spouse is hiding assets, then proceedings are not going to be fair. Judges do not look favorably on people who try to beat the system.

Signs of a hidden asset problem

Issues that are cause of concern regarding possible hidden assets in divorce would include your spouse taking money out of a jointly owned account without your knowledge, overpaying on a credit card bill or on a tax return, as well as claiming to be paying back a loan that you didn't know had taken place.

If your spouse has recently changed the passwords to your online financial accounts, it may also be a red flag that something is awry. If he or she becomes defensive or confrontational when you ask about it, you may want to further investigate the situation.

You'll need to show evidence if you want the court's help

A Texas family court judge would be on your side if you can prove that your spouse is attempting to hide assets in divorce. The key here is that you must be able to show evidence, not just make an accusation.

You hopefully have kept organized records of your finances during your marriage, so that a discrepancy would be immediately apparent. The good news is that you don't have to go it alone if you suspect your spouse is trying to gain the upper hand in property division proceedings. There are people who are well-versed in Texas divorce laws who can help you investigate and combat a hidden asset problem.

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