Don't take your spouse's word when it comes to property division

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It can astonish some people how quickly the battle lines are drawn when the word divorce is mentioned in a house. There are spouses in Virginia that will try to tell the person they once shared everything with that they are not entitled to certain assets when it comes toproperty division. No one should take the word of a spouse that makes this kind of blanket statement.

Some people will say that his or her spouse is not entitled to a portion of stock options or retirement accounts just because they are part of that spouse's employment. Still others will say that since an asset such as a house or car is in their name alone that the other spouse isn't entitled to a portion of that asset. The truth is that these statements are probably not true. The truth is that any asset acquired during the marriage is up for grabs with very few exceptions.

Once the decision to get divorced has been made, both parties should make his and her own lists of what they believe to be the parties' assets. Neither party should make the assumption that just because one party hasn't been involved in growing the asset, such as a retirement account, that he or she isn't able to receive a portion of it in the divorce. This is something to keep in mind during settlement negotiations.

Should one spouse be guilty of hiding assets, the Virginia courts may be of assistance. Sometimes, one spouse needs to be reminded by the court that it is not up to him or her which assets are part of the property division and which are not. If things can't be done amicably without the court's intervention, then neither party should be afraid of taking the matter to a judge.

Source: Forbes, "Divorcing Women: The Truth About Your Husband's 401(k) And Other Assets," Jeff Landers, Aug. 8, 2013

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