Virginia Family Law Blog

How to tell if your spouse is hiding assets

Sometimes, a spouse will hide financial assets before or during a divorce. This is done in an attempt to avoid splitting the assets during the divorce proceedings or to minimize the amount of alimony or child support that he or she may owe. People sometimes hide assets by stashing cash, deferring salary, overpaying taxes, transferring assets to a trusted person or underreporting income. While this type of activity is dishonest and illegal, there are some ways the truth can be uncovered.

What if your ex-spouse wants to move with the kids?

It is perfectly natural for you and your ex-spouse to want to move on after your divorce. Yet if part of them moving on includes moving away from Alexandria, that could no doubt impact your relationship with your children. If they have sole custody and your only have visitation rights, them moving could potentially limit the already limited access you have to your kids. Even if you share custody, a relocation could place a hardship on you when it comes to custody exchanges. What rights, then, in mitigating the impact of your ex-spouse moving away with your kids?

First and foremost, you should know that they cannot simply move away and inform you after the fact. Per Section 20-124.5 of the Code of Virginia, they must provide both you and court with notice of their intentions at least 30 days prior to the proposed move. If they do not provide such notice, the court could find them in contempt and require them to cover the cost of any legal action required to get your kids back. 

Joint custody may benefit your children

It is often a challenge adjusting to new living arrangements in Virginia without your children. If you and your spouse have separated, you may find yourself in the midst of a custody battle, even if the split has otherwise been uneventful. At Russell W. Ray, PLLC, we often help clients negotiate custody and visitation agreements for the best possible outcome.

VeryWell Family states that in a joint custody arrangement parents share custody of their children, as opposed to one parent who has sole custody. As you prepare for the proceedings, carefully consider your needs as well as that of your children. In joint legal custody, you and your ex can each make decisions regarding schools, doctors and other important decisions. This typically requires communication with each other regularly.

You can't cut your house in half, so what do you do with it?

Your home was the center of your family life during your marriage. Now that you and your spouse decided to divorce, you face the challenge of figuring out what happens to the marital home.

Dividing the house in the literal sense isn't possible, so you will need to come up with another solution. Each of the property division choices for a home requires careful consideration before moving forward.

What should you do with your share of a 401k?

As you enter into your divorce proceedings in Alexandria, you should know every option available to you when it comes to the topic of property division. Several of the assets that the court considers to be shared can present a number of complexities. Chief among these is a 401k. If your ex-spouse maintains such an account, you may be entitled to an equitable portion of the contributions made to it during your marriage. The question then becomes how can your best manage this asset? 

According to the 401k Help Center, one of the more common ways that divorcing couples choose to divide up the portion of a 401k that is subject to property division is to roll the non-contributing spouse's portion over into another retirement account (either your own 401k or an individual retirement account). The main benefit of doing this is that the funds therein are then allowed to grow through investments and earned interest, which can prove to beneficial when you need to start relying on them as part of your income when you retire. Yet this also means that money cannot benefit you right now. 

Can my ex-spouse move with my child out of state?

Divorce changes much more than the relationship between you and your former spouse. It can change your routines, your support system and how often your see your child. Some people may even consider opportunities after divorce that they would not have considered otherwise, such as an out-of-state job.

An opportunity could come up for your ex-spouse that encourages him or her to move out of state. However, if your ex-spouse wants to move out of Virginia with your child, you can take actions, which may prevent this from occurring.

Red flags for potential asset hiding by a spouse

For couples in Virginia who have been experiencing difficulties in their marriages, it is not uncommon for one or both persons to begin considering asking for a divorce. Thoughts of ending a marriage may well be in the minds of a spouse for some time before they ever choose to utter it to their partner. During this time, some people try to think about ways to protect themselves if they should proceed with a divorce and for some, this may entail trying to hide some financial assets.

Hiding assets is one thing people do in order to attempt to salvage some losses during a divorce. As explained by Bankrate, spouses in a challenged marriage might want to pay special attention to statements and receipts for signs of things like overpayments, unexplained transfers or even unknown account numbers.

Are child support payments fixed for life?

In Virginia, the amount of money due in child support is determined on a case-by-case basis. However, the initial court decision may no longer be valid if the unique circumstances that led to it change. Russell W. Ray, PLLC, is here to discuss the situations in which child support payment amounts can be altered.

Child support payments are never a permanent thing due to the sheer number of deciding factors that lead to it. A judge can either decrease or increase support payments based on large changes that occur in either your own circumstances, or those of your ex-partner. Some examples of common changes that result in child support payment shifts can include promotions or raises, expensive medical bills, job loss, or the changing needs of a child.

Making sure child support payments work for you

Divorcing couples with children often quickly realize that almost every aspect of their childrens' lives require some amount of consideration. Your planning process has the potential to be overwhelming, even with attempts by legislators to simplify child support through standardization of payment calculation. Nevertheless, focusing on some of the major points could reduce conflict in the future, speed the process and safeguard the emotional well-being of everyone involved. We are ready to advise with considered, case-by-case analysis here at the Virginia office of Russell W. Ray, PLLC. 

Planning for the future is often not about the minutiae of day-to-day concerns, but rather about the responsibilities you and your co-parent have regarding parenting time, financial resources and education. Following are a few of the major points in these categories.

Do you need a forensic accountant on your divorce team?

These days, many people embroiled in divorces across Virginia have complex financial situations that can make the process of property division prove difficult. For this reason, many state residents are increasingly relying on forensic accountants who can help them navigate financial matters relating to their splits. Just what role can a forensic accountant play in modern divorce, and should you consider adding one to your divorce team?

According to Forbes, forensic accountants are accounting professionals who can help you work through various financial matters surrounding your divorce so you can make sure you are getting your fair share. Often, one party in a marriage chooses to hire a forensic accountant because he or she has concerns about the other party concealing assets or income information. If you, for example, feel as if your ex makes far more money than he or she is revealing, a forensic accountant may be able to help you find out exactly how much income he or she is actually taking in.

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6212-A Old Franconia Road
Alexandria, VA 22310

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