Hiding assets in divorce may be illegal, but it still happens. You want to be aware of how people do it so that you can see any potential warning signs and work to uncover those assets.
Fortunately, many tactics to hide assets are not complicated at all, making them easier to expose. They include things like:
- Taking small amounts of cash for years and setting it aside.
- Giving money to a family member with a handshake agreement to get it back later.
- Lying about their income, even though the tax returns tell the real story.
- Starting a separate bank account that their spouse doesn’t know about.
On the other side of the coin, some people create very complex plans to hide assets. This is common with business owners, for instance. They may find it easy to move extra personal assets into the business, thus shielding them from the divorce. They may also give out “business loans” to friends or create fake expenses with fake paperwork.
You can still undercover these schemes, but things get more complicated. You may know how much your business-owner spouse brings home, for instance, but do you know exactly what the business makes each year? If the business suddenly has far more expenses than normal, will you know what that looks like? Many people do not, so assets get hidden away and are harder to find.
No matter the complexity of the situation, if you think that your spouse may be hiding assets, it is crucial for you to know about all of the legal options you have at your disposal.