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Resolving property division when you can't trust your ex

By the time two people are going through a divorce, there can be quite a bit of animosity and contention involved. In these difficult situations, it can also be all but impossible for parties to trust each other.

This lack of trust can complicate matters because it often requires both people to put in some added effort to ensure their resolutions are fair and based on accurate information. For instance, if you don't trust your ex, then you might consider the following tips for pursuing a fair division of assets.

  1. Collect financial information before you file for divorce. Once a divorce is underway, it can be difficult to track down financial details, especially if your ex moves out and starts changing passwords or closing accounts. Collecting pertinent information before you file can ensure you have a more accurate and complete picture of your financial situation.
  2. Hire a financial professional or forensic accountant. These parties could find information in your financial records that reveal discrepancies you missed or could not know.
  3. Consider litigation. If you truly cannot trust your ex and have reason to believe you cannot come to a fair, lawful agreement about property division through efforts like mediation, then you could go to the courts for resolution. The formality of the court systems and the discovery process can provide the objective, comprehensive examination of this matter that you could not get in mediation.

Readers should know that California laws state that all property acquired during a marriage generally belongs to the "community," or the marriage. As such, each person should get half of all community property and community debts.

If a dishonest spouse fabricates financial records, hides assets or otherwise tries to unlawfully shield assets from division, then you may not get your fair share of the assets.

As such, covering your bases can be crucial during property division, particularly if you do not trust your ex. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can work to pursue the full and fair settlement you deserve.

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