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Washington is a community property state. It is one of only nine states in the U.S. that operate under community property regulations in divorce. Since spouses typically must split all marital assets 50/50, it is easy to see why full financial disclosure is crucial to obtaining a fair settlement.

It can be quite challenging to determine what constitutes marital property and what does not. In many situations, spouses who want to try to gain the upper hand in property division proceedings will attempt to hide assets to keep them from being divided. A spouse who suspects this type of underhanded divorce behavior is wise to stay alert and to inquire about any issue that prompts concern.

Overpaying on tax returns is a common means of hiding assets in divorce. A spouse with such intentions can accrue quite a bit of money by letting it sit there until a later date. Therefore, a careful review of tax returns can help a concerned spouse make sure everything is on the up and up regarding marital assets. It is also a good idea to carefully review pay stubs, especially if a spouse things assets are being hidden.

If a spouse is transferring money across accounts, is overpaying on a credit card or tax return, or has deferred bonus pay or other financial awards at work, it definitely warrants further investigation. Hiding assets in divorce is illegal, so a concerned spouse can immediately bring evidence of such problems to the court’s attention. Things can get quite messy in court under such circumstances, which is why a Washington spouse may want to hire an experienced family law attorney to act on his or her behalf.