Identifying All Marital Assets

- Gary E. Williams

Both parties in a Florida divorce proceeding are required to disclose their financial records preliminary to a decision on equitable distribution of marital property. In some cases, a spouse may fail to make a full report, either through honest error or, in a contested divorce situation, in an attempt to hide marital assets from the other spouse.

Many people do not realize that there are many sources of income in addition to a salary:

  • Annual bonuses
  • Trust fund allocations
  • Deferred income
  • Stock options
  • Severance pay
  • Earned income credits
  • Business expense accounts
  • Accrued vacation pay
  • Undeclared income

Even in an economy that has not yet struggled out of a recession, executive bonuses remain robust — and the value of projected bonuses should be included in income calculations. Expense accounts can be a substantial perk, offering reimbursement for travel, meals and some personal items. In the same way, having personal use of a company car could be considered as income. Undeclared or under-the-table sources of income can be difficult to document, but if your former spouse had a history of receiving money or goods in this manner and fails to report it, alert your attorney to the discrepancy.

Under Florida divorce statutes, both spouses are required to make a full disclosure of their financial situations so decisions regarding the division of property and assets, child support, and alimony can be made fairly. Having a financially savvy divorce lawyer on your side is the best way to ensure that all relevant information is on the table during your negotiations.