Is Your Spouse Hiding Assets In Your Divorce? Here’s How To Know

hiding assets

For your divorce to be fair, your assets must be fully disclosed and honest. Nobody wants to believe their spouse is hiding anything on top of going through the divorce itself, but it does happen, and it’s important to understand and be on the lookout for signs that your spouse may be hiding assets during your divorce. If your spouse successfully hides assets, it can have a negative impact on what you are awarded in the divorce because the hidden assets are unknown and unable to be divided correctly. 

Signs Your Spouse May Be Hiding Assets During Your Divorce

Divorces can be long, grueling processes with complex situations in each case. Dividing assets and making major financial decisions in court can take a long time, and one spouse might hide valuable assets to avoid splitting them in the divorce. We’ve compiled signs to look for during your divorce so you can protect yourself and your future after.

Maintaining Complete Control

With a desire to completely control bank account information and passwords and acting secretive or defensive, your spouse may be hiding something. You deserve to know as much as your spouse does about your financial situation and have the right to access joint accounts during your divorce. If something feels off by their domineering attitude, listen to your gut.

Changing Information on Accounts

To keep you and the court from accessing information about assets, your spouse might change the mailing address on accounts or statements to save them from showing up at your joint home. Similarly, they may open a post office box with the same strategy to keep statements and information from getting into your hands.

Unusual Spending

If a spouse suddenly starts spending more than usual, they may try to drain assets and convert them into possessions. For instance, you may notice a savings account, a piece of real estate, or a random investment you knew nothing about. Your spouse might try to drain the account, sell the asset, or use the cash to buy items that are more difficult to track (like art, jewelry, or clothes).

Making Overpayments

By overpaying taxes, credit cards, or loan payments, they can create a way to redirect hidden marital or separate funds. This means that once the divorce is over, your spouse will owe less on their post-divorce assets.

Giving Gifts

You may notice your spouse giving lavish “gifts” to friends, family, or even a new lover. This might be an attempt to remove assets from marital or separate accounts they don’t want you to know about. The family member, friend, or new partner might hold on to the asset and return it to your spouse once the divorce is final.

Traveling Out of the Country

You should investigate if you notice your spouse making frequent trips to countries with more relaxed banking laws or dealing with banks overseas. You or your attorney can send a subpoena to any bank you suspect your spouse has an account with and receive all the records under your spouse’s name. Taking trips out of the country can also move assets to places that are harder to discover.

Paying Unknown Loans

Your spouse may completely fabricate the existence of new loans to siphon money out of joint accounts or separate accounts you know about. 

Making Changes to Their Business

If your spouse owns a business, you should look out for any attempts made by your spouse to conceal the business’ assets or income so it cannot be accurately accounted for during the divorce; they might reconfigure the whole corporate structure, suddenly start buying and selling things, or change how they operate the business. Additionally, if a once thriving business suddenly experiences a downturn during the divorce, there is reason to suspect it as intentional as a way to shield income from the divorce.

Unusual Business Expenses

Your spouse can fabricate new or unusual business expenses, not seeking reimbursement for expenses from their employer, and then hold on to receipts to seek reimbursement once the divorce is over. This is a way to keep the funds from even being considered or divided in the divorce.

Open a Brand New Business

Opening a new business can offer an opportunity to redirect assets and create losses, which changes their true net worth and allows them to get more in the divorce.

Kern County Divorce Lawyers By Your Side 

If you find yourself suspecting your spouse of hiding assets after reading some of these signs mentioned, it is in your best interest to talk to your divorce attorney as soon as possible. Azemika Law is here for you, with our practice devoted to family law for 28 years. We efficiently handle cases involving divorce, dissolutions of partnerships, child custody and visitations, abandonment, and adoptions. Serving all of Kern County, we want you to have the opportunity to make informed decisions from the best position possible for your future.

Contact us today, and let us help you protect yourself and your assets. Don’t let your spouse take advantage of you. We’re here to help.

California Divorce And Adopted Children

adopted children

When children are involved in a divorce, things become more complicated. Whether the children are adopted or not, it’s an emotional and tricky issue. When a child is adopted, the parents become their legal parents, meaning certain legal rights and responsibilities are created. Adoptive parents have all the same responsibilities for their adopted children as they would biological children once the adoption process is complete. Parents must take care of their adopted child, providing for their education, housing, and medical care. 

It does not matter if you are the child’s biological parents or if you have adopted children. Your legal relationship with your adopted children will not change just because of a separation or divorce. Your divorce will be treated just like any other divorce by the court system, and you can create a child custody schedule that best suits your and your family’s needs. 

Who Gets Custody Of Adopted Children In A Divorce?

Some may think that a biological parent may be given custody over a former step-parent who adopted the child. Still, in California, the law is clear that regardless of the type of adoption, the adoptive parent is considered a legal guardian. There are no legal differences between an adoptive parent and a biological parent. There is a common primary concern that because one parent has the biological link, they may have an advantage in custody arrangements versus the adopted parent. Still, the adoptive parent has the same legal rights as the non-adoptive biological mother or father during the divorce.

It is important to note that every situation is different, and custody is determined on a case-by-case basis. Regardless, the child’s needs are always at the forefront of any decision. Decisions will be made regarding the child’s education, safety, and welfare.

Types of Custody

Both parents have the legal right to seek custody. In the same way the court would treat a biological child when determining custody, the court wants to ensure a stable, safe relationship between both parents after the divorce. Once both parents have created independent households, the time spent with each can be determined. Families can make their child custody agreements, but if this cannot be decided upon, the court can decide as a part of the divorce proceedings and in the child’s best interest.

There are a few different custody possibilities:

Physical vs. Legal Custody

Physical custody is physically having the child under your roof. Legal custody is having the right to make crucial decisions on behalf of the child, like with their medical care, general safety, schooling, or religion. The courts can award both types of custody to one or both parents or divide the types of custody between the two parents.

Joint Custody

They are also known as shared custody; this means the adopted child will spend part of their time with one parent and the rest with the other. The exact time division will depend on the case and will not always be a 50/50 split, as it needs to be practical and in the child’s best interest.

Sole Custody

Sole custody is where 100 percent of the child custody is given to one legal parent. In this case, which is typically uncommon in California courts, the noncustodial parent might have specific visitation rights.

After a custody settlement or court-ordered agreement is determined, both parties must obey the order, though it is possible to request a modification if you have valid reasoning. In the event of significant change, parents can seek out modification of the original order.

Concerned About Your Adopted Child During A Divorce? Let Us Help

Regardless of the biological relationship, when parents have taken on the legal responsibility of their adopted child, child support can be awarded based on state laws. The amount of financial support is decided by a calculator that considers both parents’ incomes and the amount of time the child spends with each parent. This helps determine the amount for the guideline child support.

With divorce being such an emotional and important pivot in life, it can feel scary to go at it alone. It can be challenging to navigate through all the proceedings, and having someone in your corner who can guide you with your and your family’s best interest in mind is important. At Azemika Law, we are here for you with our practice devoted to family law for 28 years. We efficiently handle cases involving divorce, dissolutions of partnerships, child custody and visitations, abandonment, and adoptions. We serve all of Kern County and want you to have the opportunity to make informed decisions from the best position possible for your future. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Divorce and its Psychological Effects on Your Children

psychological effects

Deciding to divorce is never easy, and when there are children involved, parents may face an additional level of worry. They may find themselves second-guessing their decision, thinking it would be best to stay together for the kids.

While each child is affected differently by divorce, there are ways parents can help their children throughout the process and reduce the psychological effects on their children. This article will discuss how divorce can affect children psychologically and tips that you can utilize to help your children cope with this significant life change.

How Divorce Psychologically Affects Children

The first couple years after a divorce are typically the most difficult for children. They likely experience anger, anxiety, disbelief, and distress.

Most of the time, children bounce back after they get used to the changes to their daily routines. Sometimes, however, children may experience ongoing problems after a divorce. Here are some of the ways that children can be affected psychologically by divorce.

Mental Health Issues

Children of divorce are at greater risk of mental health issues. Divorce can trigger an adjustment disorder that typically resolves itself after a few months. However, some children of divorced parents can have ongoing issues with anxiety and depression.

Behavioral Problems

Children from divorced families are more likely to externalize problems such as delinquency, impulsive behavior, and conduct disorders. Children may also have more disagreements with friends and peers after a divorce.

Problems in School

A 2019 study showed that when divorce is unexpected, children tend to have more trouble in school. On the other hand, children who expected divorce were less likely to experience these problems.

Risky Behavior

Adolescents with parents who are divorced are more likely to partake in risky behavior such as early sexual activity and substance use. Children who have been separated from their fathers have also been shown to have more sexual partners.

10 Tips to Help Children Cope with Divorce

You play a significant role in how your children adjust after a divorce. Here are some tips on how to help your children cope with the psychological effects of divorce.

1. Peaceful Co-Parenting

Fighting with your ex-spouse has been shown to cause more stress for the children involved. Children who experience screaming and threatening are more likely to experience behavior problems. So, if you’re having trouble with your ex, professional help can help you find a way to communicate peacefully.

2. Don’t Put the Kids in the Middle

When you use your kids to relay messages between parents or ask which parent they like best, you’re putting them in the middle. This can lead to anxiety and depression in children.

3. Maintain a Healthy Relationship with Your Child

Positive communication, showing your child how much you love them, and ensuring minimal conflict can help children adjust after a divorce. A healthy relationship with your child can grow their self-esteem and academic performance after a divorce.

4. Be Consistent with Discipline

While you may want to do what you can to make your children happy after your divorce, it’s essential to establish rules and follow through with the set consequences when needed. Effective discipline can help improve academic performance and reduce delinquency.

5. Monitor Teens Closely

When parents closely monitor their teens’ actions, they’re less likely to show behavioral problems after a divorce. That means the chance of your teen having difficulties in school or substance usage is decreased.

6. Encourage Your Children

When children feel like helpless victims, they’re more likely to encounter mental health problems. Teaching your child they are strong enough to handle the changes they are experiencing can empower them.

7. Teach Children Skills to Cope with the Change

When children are taught cognitive restructuring skills and problem-solving skills, they can adapt better to the changes they are going through as a result of the divorce. Teach them to manage their feelings, behaviors, and thoughts healthily.

8. Help Them Feel Safe

Children of divorce can often have a fear of abandonment and be uncertain of what is to come, which can result in anxiety. Help your child feel safe, loved, and secure to reduce clinginess and mental health risks.

9. Educate Yourself

Many programs help parents understand how to help their kids cope with divorce. These classes teach co-parenting skills to help kids adjust.

10. Seek Professional Help

Your child can feel it when you’re stressed, affecting their actions and behaviors. Be sure to practice self-care and consider therapy to help you adjust to the changes you’re experiencing from the divorce.

When You Should Seek Professional Help for Your Child

It’s normal for children to struggle with their feelings after a divorce. However, if the issues persist or worsen, therapy can help your child sort out their feelings and emotions and learn to adjust.

Support groups are also a great option. They are a place for kids of all ages to meet other children going through the same changes.

Get the Legal Representation You Deserve with Azemika & Azemika

While seeing the effects of your divorce on your children can be difficult, staying in an unhappy marriage for the sake of the children isn’t necessarily the best option. Children from homes with hostility, arguing, and seeing their parents unhappy can be at risk for behavior and mental health problems.

At Azemika & Azemika, our practice is exclusively devoted to family law. We understand that our clients are going through a difficult and emotional time. When you work with our team of expert family law attorneys, you are guaranteed knowledgeable, aggressive, and affordable legal representation for your family law case.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation.