Property division in Washington, D.C., begins with deciding what’s marital property and what isn’t. Also known as community property, marital property includes the things that two people gained during their time married. There are some challenges, however, when dividing property within a high-asset divorce because high-wealth spouses have a lot that they might try to hide.
When spouses have money to hide
During the process of property division, conflict may lead one or both spouses to hide assets despite this being illegal. Cash is the easiest asset to hide once it’s removed from a shared account. Spouses tend to hide money left over from purchases, credit cards, and the bonuses paid by their employers.
Why examine executive compensation
Executive compensation is a type of salary incentive paid to corporate employees. Incentives are tools used to motivate these workers and to retain them. In a divorce, one spouse could have compensation that technically remains in the possession of their employer. These assets are eligible to fall under the umbrella of marital property. Without speaking directly to a spouse about these assets, however, an individual is likely to overlook the following:
• Stock options
• Professional equipment
• Saved perks
• Severance packages
Striving for equity in property division
Property division in Washington, D.C., follows a structure of transparency so that both spouses get equity. What’s equitable, however, can be open to debate, so knowing the assets that are eligible is the first step.
It’s not unusual for an earning spouse to hide their money. This makes the other spouse’s job uncovering everything at stake. It’s also important to keep in mind that some assets are worthless if exposed to taxes.