WHERE COULD A SPOUSE HIDE VAST AMOUNTS OF WEALTH?
It is not uncommon to feel blindsided if your spouse unexpectedly files for divorce. Perhaps you were aware that your relationship was strained, but you held out hope that it was just a passing phase. Or maybe the divorce took you by total surprise. Regardless, you are now faced with a number of daunting tasks, among which is making sure that you get a fair property settlement.
If you are in a situation where there is a great deal of wealth at stake, it can take some time to inventory all of the assets that are eligible for division. And it is possible that your soon-to-be ex has been hiding some of these assets in an attempt to keep you from getting your fair share. If you suspect this is the case, you likely need to put your detective skills to work to find these assets.
But where should you look? The following are ways that spouses have been known to hide some of their wealth:
- By making loans to family or friends who agree to pay it back after the divorce is finalized.
- By overpaying federal taxes and then instructing the IRS that the money be used to pay taxes for subsequent years.
- By generating fake business expenses that can be written off from his or her income.
- By transferring funds into a friend’s account.
- By purchasing items, such as antiques, jewelry, and art, that can be overlooked or undervalued and then sold post-divorce.
These are just a few ways to hide assets, and if your ex has been planning the divorce for a long time, it is possible that the value of what has been hidden is quite substantial. For this reason, you may want to have a family law attorney provide you with help getting an accurate account of the property and assets that comprise your shared wealth. The attorney can also act on your behalf to help ensure that you receive the settlement to which you are entitled.