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Don't move assets prior to military divorce

In the months leading up to divorce, many Texas residents have a long list of to-do items. Making a thorough assessment of marital wealth should have a prominent place on that list. That said, it is important to avoid moving assets in advance of a military divorce. Doing so can be misconstrued as an effort to deplete marital wealth.

Spouses should avoid any significant expenditures in the months leading up to a divorce filing. This includes making loans to friends and family, which can be made to appear as an effort to redirect wealth and shield it from the divorce process. When one spouse makes the claim that the other has taken steps to divert wealth outside of the marriage, the courts will address that accusation very seriously.

In some cases, expenditures are unavoidable. This is especially true for couples in which one or both spouses need to secure new housing arrangements. In such cases, spouses should agree on a pre-divorce budget, and have that agreement in writing. That can go along way toward reducing the risk that one party will cry foul during the divorce process.

Texas spouses who suspect that their partner may have acted to deplete marital wealth in advance of a military divorce should discuss the matter with their attorney. In some cases, a forensic accountant can help determine where marital assets were spent and for what purpose. If the matter eventually goes before a judge, having that documentation can be critical to a favorable outcome.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "10 Ways to Prevent a Divorce From Ruining Your Finances", Maryalene LaPonsie, Sept. 29, 2016

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