Question about Hidden Assets

Aug 8, 2012 by

Question: 

Separated, not legally but my ex has bought several large ticket items since, we separated I have found out that a large part of his income was never deposited into the our household account but into other accounts just in his name, if he purchased these items with that money which was part of our marital income, am I entitled to half or part value?

State: 
North Carolina

Answer: 

If you are voluntarily separated and there is no legal sanction in place – as would be with a legal separation or divorce – there is not much you can do about the money that has been spent. If you have a legal separation in place you could ask for the court to look after the joint marital accounts and there would be penalties for violating the court orders. North Carolina is an equitable property division state and as such there is no 50-50 rule for the division of assets. Assets are instead divided according to what is fair and “equitable” so there is no assumption that 50% of everything is yours even at the time of divorce. The problem lies in the fact that you have not yet filed for divorce or arranged a legal separation with spending limits imposed by the court. This type of situation happens all too frequently, a spouse spends out all the joint money BEFORE any papers are filed and there is nothing to prevent it. After you file, your spouse will not be able to loot your joint accounts, but it looks like the horses are already out of the barn in this case. You may or may not be entitled to half or part of the assets he purchased. The division of marital property will not occur until you get divorced and the court will decide who gets what at that time. Start keeping records of every penny spent on anything you can document. It may help your position later. – The Divorce.com Team

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