Divorcing? How to ensure hidden assets are uncovered
When a couple decides to divorce, there are obvious financial implications for both parties. When California couples try to decide how to divvy up assets, a lot depend on how a couple maintained their finances during the marriage and who had more control and oversight into what income was coming in and out. This is especially true if either spouse tries to hide assets.
As a divorce proceeding progresses and the reality of the financial burden it may pose becomes clearer, many husbands and wives may search for ways to hide assets. As is still the case for most divorcing couples, the husband typically makes more money and may therefore be more apt to use deceptive methods to funnel finances.
This practice is more common for couples who have complex finances that may include homes, rental properties, stock options, life insurance, pensions and retirement accounts. While not legal and certainly unethical, it can be fairly easy to essentially hide assets from your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
It’s important for any spouse who suspects their ex is hiding assets to consult with a divorce attorney. A husband or wife who tries to investigate these matters on their own often relies on illegal means of snooping and spying which may lead to further legal complications. A skilled divorce attorney will be able to help uncover red flags and ensure all assets are accounted for.
Some common methods used in divorces to hide assets include:
•· Hiding actual cash
•· Underreporting income
•· Overpaying on taxes
•· Using a child’s social security number to set up account(s)
•· Transferring stock
The burden of proof will fall on the spouse who believes his or her ex is hiding assets so it’s important to remain vigilant and observant. A qualified divorce attorney will be able to assist in helping seek legal means to uncover any wrongdoing and deceptive behavior with regard to hidden assets.
Source: Forbes,”Divorcing Women: Here’s Where Husbands Typically Hide Assets,” Jeff Landers, Mar. 14, 2012