3 surprisingly common issues that can arise in Tennessee divorces

Many divorcing spouses in Tennessee may encounter issues with hidden assets, undervaluation of property and the use of electronic evidence.

Most people who are getting divorced in Clarksville are familiar with the basic elements of a divorce case, which include property division, alimony, child support and child custody. However, many of these spouses are not as familiar with issues that seem rare but actually come up in many divorces, such as asset concealment. To reduce the risk of harmful missteps during the divorce process, Tennessee spouses should be prepared to deal with all of the following common divorce issues.

1. Hidden assets

Research suggests that even married couples frequently hide assets from one another. According to The Huffington Post, one study indicates that at least one spouse is hiding money or other assets in two out of three marriages. This problem could be even more prevalent among divorcing spouses, given the impending financial losses that spouses with more property may face.

The Wall Street Journal recommends that separating spouses recognize the risk of asset concealment and work with a professional, such as a forensic accountant, to look for hidden marital or separate assets. These may include undisclosed assets and property that has been improperly transferred to others. Spouses who don't take this step risk losing out on the full share of property that they are entitled to.

2. Inaccurate asset valuation

On a similar note, the incorrect valuation of complex assets is a problem that many divorcing spouses may face. According to Forbes, this issue is especially common when one spouse owns a business. Many spouses may try to create the appearance that the business has little or no value by withholding financial documents, creating false expenses or pretending to have minimal personal income.

To avoid these issues, spouses may need to work with financial professionals who have experience in valuating businesses and complex assets during divorce. To create a realistic financial picture, spouses should also assess various forms of documentation, including tax returns and financial applications, alongside the information the other spouse provides.

3. Electronic evidence

Finally, the use of electronic evidence, which may include texts, emails and social media activity, has become common in modern divorces. According to Reuters, over the last several years, members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers have reported seeing a huge increase in evidence from social networking sites and smartphones. This evidence may affect all of the following aspects of a divorce:

  • Property division and alimony - by providing insights into each spouse's finances and need, this evidence may influence a judge's final orders.
  • Child support - information about income that is revealed through electronic evidence may help determine child support obligations.
  • Child custody - this evidence may also suggest that giving a parent legal or physical custody would not be in a child's best interests.

In light of these possible impacts, Forbes suggests that divorcing spouses use caution when sharing information through electronic media. At the same time, spouses may want to use this resource to look for information about the other spouse that could influence the final divorce settlement.

Handling complex divorce concerns

It's important for spouses in Tennessee to be alert to these potential issues, since some of them may affect aspects of the settlement, such as asset division, that cannot be modified later. For assistance valuating property, searching for hidden assets or finding electronic evidence, spouses should consider seeking the assistance of an attorney. An attorney may be able to help a person protect his or her rights and pursue the most reasonable settlement possible.