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David R. Hartwig, Esq.
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Could your spouse be hiding assets in advance of your divorce?

Your divorce started out amicably, or so you thought. But you're starting to feel concerned about your financial situation. Perhaps your spouse has started to spend more money, there are unexplained purchases or your combined income has started to drop for no apparent reason.

CNBC reports that 7.2 million people in the U.S. hide financial accounts-banks or credit cards-from their partner or spouse. The breakdown? 2.8 million women and 4.4 million men. Could your spouse be one of them?

Here are some warning signs to look for:

  • You haven't seen a bank or investment account statement in a while. Either snail mail or email stopped coming, or they're being intercepted before you see them. Maybe they're being sent to a work address, or your spouse is deliberately hiding them somewhere else.
  • Money is being deposited elsewhere, such as into a child's account, or stocks and investments transferred to a child or relative (you'll have to be vigilant about reading all of the statements you do see).
  • He or she has started to act controlling about money or elusive about where the money is, once you do investigate all of your account statements.
  • Any of your account balances have changed without explanation.

Things you won't be able to see coming/happening:

  • Spending sprees done with cash or newly acquired credit cards-however, you can be on the lookout for newly acquired high-end items such as jewelry, vehicles, collectibles
  • Cash "loaned" to friends or family
  • Cash or other securities hidden in a safety deposit box under someone else's name-a colluding relative or friend
  • She or he could be deferring salary or declining to sign contracts, so that they receive the money after the divorce and therefore it won't be subject to the settlement

Business owners have other ways of hiding assets: if you share the business, be vigilant about keeping track of all the ways money is being spent right now.

You'd be surprised how differently people can act when they're facing a divorce and a division of their shared lives. Some react by letting their anger morph into greed; others go from anger to sadness and helplessness. There's no rule for which spouse will feel what.

If you are contemplating divorce, or if you think your spouse is, it is vital to protect yourself. Be sure to make copies of all financial records and store them in a safe place. If these financial records disappear or are locked away, it could cause serious problems in your divorce.

An experienced lawyer can help you uncover what's being hidden and make sure you get your fair share. Don't wait too long. Each day you wait, more of your money could be disappearing.

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I am David R. Hartwig, Esq., a Salt Lake City attorney with extensive experience helping parents resolve simple or high-conflict custody issues reaching arrangements that work for children and parents. Child custody involves parent-time and visitation schedules, and can affect support. I help in all of these areas, providing comprehensive service clients need to achieve their custody goals.

Factors In Child Custody Decisions

As an experienced Utah child custody lawyer, I understand that custody cases may become a contentious issue even years after an order is finalized. The trend in Utah toward joint custody often creates messy, unworkable situations, which ultimately lead to enforcement issues when parents do not abide by their custody orders.

The best interests of the child must be considered, including:

• Whether joint legal or physical custody will benefit the child's physical, psychological and emotional needs, or the child's development

• The parents' ability to give first priority to the child's welfare, and reach shared decisions in the child's best interest

• Whether each parent is capable of encouraging and accepting a positive relationship between the child and the other parent

• Whether both parents participated in raising the child before the divorce

• The distance between the parents' homes

• The parents' maturity and their willingness and ability to protect the child from conflict that may arise between the parents

• The parents' ability to cooperate with each other and make decisions jointly

• Any history of, or potential for, child abuse, spouse abuse, or kidnapping

• Any other factors the court finds relevant

Despite the complicated and sensitive nature of custody matters, I have helped many clients successfully establish custody orders.

Get Help With Your Child Custody Issue

If you have a child custody issue, please contact me, David R. Hartwig, Esq. I am an experienced Salt Lake City custody lawyer dedicated to helping clients resolve complex custody issues and implement necessary custody orders. For high-conflict cases, I am also one of the few Utah child custody modification attorneys trained as a Special Master for ongoing dispute resolution.


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