When heading to divorce, one of the most important things to do is to list out all of your assets and your spouse’s assets. To know what a fair split of your property will look like, you need to know exactly what property is there.
This is something that sounds easy on the outside. Wouldn’t both people naturally know how much money was in the bank, how much was saved for retirement and how much was invested? You hear stories about spouses hiding money, but they seem curious if you assume that couples talk about money and know what should be there.
Well, a new study showed that couples don’t actually talk about this as much as you may think. Couples were asked if they knew how much their partner had saved up for retirement. They weren’t even asked to give an exact figure, but just to give a ballpark number — $10,000, for example, or $200,000. In 21 percent of the cases, they simply couldn’t do it.
Experts note that there could be a distinct decision not to disclose these amounts. People may feel that financial information is personal and they’re not interested in opening up all aspects of their lives, even after marriage. However, they do admit that, for some couples, the question just never came up and was never addressed.
Regardless, though, this shows how difficult property division can be. It doesn’t matter why you don’t know what your partner has; it just matters that you don’t. Be sure you get accurate numbers and look into your legal options in Massachusetts if you think your spouse is hiding assets.
Source: Everett Herald, “Never told spouse how much is in your 401(k)? You’re not alone,” Suzanne Woolley, Bloomberg, Aug. 31, 2016