On behalf of David Hogue

There are a number of factors that determine who will get what property following a divorce in Arkansas.

When people choose to end their marriage, perhaps one of the most frequent issues that pops up is dividing marital property. Every state has its own approach to how this process is conducted. Arkansas is an equitable distribution state, which means a number of factors will come into play during the decision-making process. People going through a divorce should be aware of how their assets could be divided.

What does equitable division mean?

In terms of property division during divorce, equitable division refers to a split that is not necessarily equal, but it is fair. In other words, a court will take a number of factors into account when determining who should receive which property instead of just dividing the assets 50/50.

What items are considered marital property?

Marital property refers to most items that are acquired following the marriage. These are the items that are eligible for division. Non-marital property refers to items acquired before marriage and typically will not be split. There are some exceptions, however, such as the following:

  • Gifts or inheritance that one spouse receives are considered separate property.
  • Mingling non-marital property with marital property often results in an asset eligible for division.
  • Interest on a non-marital asset is usually considered separate.

In a March 2016 decision, the Supreme Court of Arkansas further clarified that last point. The case revolved around an appreciation in the property value of a business one spouse owned prior to the marriage. An initial court ruled that the appreciation would be considered marital property, but, as the Arkansas Times points out, the justices overturned the decision. They stated that despite the fact that the other spouse contributed to the company, the appreciation would remain separate.

Lastly, Arkansas has adopted the Uniform Disposition of Community Property Rights at Death Act. This protects the rights that each spouse has to property that may have been considered marital property before moving into the state.

How does the court determine who gets what?

Once the divorcing parties determine which property is eligible for division, they can begin to separate it. If both spouses cannot agree on how to do this, a court will do it for them. To do this, a judge will take into account a number of factors. For example, the length of the marriage and the age, economic status and health of each party will be considered. How much each spouse contributed to the marriage could be a factor, as well any tax implications associated with dividing the assets.

While it could appear that property division may be simple, the truth is that it is often highly complicated. Anyone who is going through a divorce should connect with a family law attorney in Arkansas.

One spouse hiding financial assets from the other happens all too often, and it can spell disaster during a divorce.

Couples in Arkansas who are going through a divorce often fight over the division of property. However many people don’t expect to find out their partner is hiding something from them. Unfortunately, when it comes to financial assets, it happens far more often than people think. This secrecy is often in the form of a hidden bank account. According to Fox Business, 45 percent of adults surveyed in a poll said that they have savings accounts that are kept secret, while two-thirds of adults have a credit card account that their significant other doesn’t know about.

Why do people hide accounts?

There are many different reasons why a spouse may be hiding things from the partner. If it is a credit card account, the person may be trying to cover transactions. If it is a savings account, the person may not feel entirely secure with their partner and they believe they need to protect their assets. Other reasons may include a desire to report higher expenses and lower revenue, overstate debts, or even to undervalue or hide certain assets.

What are the signs of hidden assets?

While it can be difficult to know if a person is really keeping a secret, spouses can pay attention and be aware of certain red flags that may indicate a hidden account, such as those in the following list:

  • The spouse, without reason, has many personal or business accounts, or continues to open more.
  • Large amounts of debt that are not explained begin accruing for the person in question.
  • The spouse visits countries that have banking laws which are less strict, and makes these visits quite frequently.
  • Over a short time, one partner seems to change cellphone numbers rather frequently or even owns multiple phones.
  • Purchases of new jewelry or cars from out of the blue
  • If there is not a reduction of expenses, and yet one spouse’s income has decreased

Furthermore, frequent gambling where money is placed on account, being involved in abuse of drugs, and an entitled or greedy disposition can all be signs that someone is hiding marital assets.

An illegal game to play

While lying about assets can be damaging to a relationship, things can get even worse if a divorce is on the horizon and a spouse is hiding accounts. Lying under oath while in court can have severe consequences since couples are required to report all of their assets.

People in the Fayetteville area who suspect their spouse is not being truthful about marital property may find it helpful to get counsel from a skilled local attorney who practices family law.