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Many Tennessee marriage experts will tell you that having an equal hand in your joint pocketbook is best practice from the start. But after years together, you and your spouse have likely migrated to handling separate aspects of your relationship. Now that you are considering a divorce, you may find yourself in the dark about precisely what you collectively own and what it is worth. This might be a good time to start paying attention to your finances and assets, especially if you anticipate a contentious divorce. While it may feel disloyal to think that your spouse might purposefully hide assets from you, building your awareness now could make any attempt at deception less likely to succeed.

A recent survey conducted by the National Endowment for Financial Education concludes that two in five American adults in a joint financial partnership admit to hiding details from their spouse or partner at least once. If your spouse has been financially unfaithful to you in the past, it could be more likely to happen again, particularly if your divorce becomes adversarial. Often, paying attention is all that is necessary — start by monitoring joint accounts and noticing any expenditure not easily explained. Transferring funds into an individual account or making loans to family and friends is an apparent but effective strategy to hide money if you are not looking.

And of course, there are much more insidious ways that your spouse could conceal assets from you before or during a divorce, and doing so can be illegal. For more information on assets and marriage dissolution, visit our webpage.