09 Nov Hidden Assets in Divorce: What to Look for
There may be very little love and trust between two spouses going through a divorce. Many spouses attempt to hide their assets in order to decrease the amount of property that will be divided and effectively keep more for themselves. Hidden assets in a divorce are not just a bad strategy with the potential to backfire legally and economically, but also has the potential to harm everyone involved. Due to hidden assets in a divorce, children could be denied their full amount of child support, a fair share of spousal assets could be hindered, and there could be a lower amount of alimony payments that otherwise could have been ordered. If you suspect your former spouse has hidden assets during your divorce, seek assistance from a divorce attorney immediately.
How Assets May Be Hidden in a Divorce
Hidden assets in a divorce are more common than most people may think and can be relatively easy to get away with. It is not uncommon, especially with older marriages where one spouse was the primary breadwinner and handled the personal finances, for one spouse to be completely in the dark about the true state of the marriage’s finances. In these situations, it is difficult for the spouse who does not know the finances to know what to ask for or argue over if they suspect hidden assets in their divorce.
It is even easier to hide assets in a marriage when one spouse comes to the marriage with substantial assets while the other does not. The wealthier spouse may have assets heavily invested or kept in many different places while the other spouse has no clear picture of the investments. The same is true when the majority of a spouse’s assets are tied up in a business. The true value of a spouse’s assets may be obfuscated by hiding assets in a business or by tying it up in business expenses.
What to Look For If You Suspect a Spouse is Hiding Assets in Your Divorce
- Sudden Drop in Income: If your spouse claims a drop in income in the months leading up to your divorce or during your divorce proceedings, it is possible that they are hiding assets.
- Increase in Business Expenses: Bogus claims for business expenses that either do not exist or are overvalued is a common method of hidden assets in a divorce.
- Deferment of Payment, Bonuses or Commissions: Many spouses attempt to hide assets by delaying the date they receive the income until after the divorce has been finalized.
- Fake Loans from Friends and Family: It is possible to create what is essentially phony debt by having friends and family members claim that your spouse took out a loan from them. After the divorce, the family member or friend will return the funds after the divorce is final.
A Charleston, SC Divorce Attorney Can Help You Uncover Hidden Assets in Divorce
There is no limit to how far a person may go to hide their assets during a divorce, no matter how dishonest, unethical or illegal it may be. It helps to have an experienced professional by your side advising you on where to look and what steps you should take to protect yourself. The attorneys at Klok Law Firm LLC in Mt. Pleasant can help you with your divorce and post-divorce needs, especially those involving uncovering hidden assets in a divorce.
Contact us today for help and protection.