If you are not paying close attention to you and your spouse’s finances leading up to your divorce, during your divorce, and after your divorce, you might overlook hidden assets. It is important to keep an eye on your finances to be sure that you are receiving a fair and equitable divorce settlement. Never is this truer than during a complex divorce or a high-asset divorce. In other words, the more property and assets you have as a couple, the greater the likelihood that one or both of you might be hiding these assets. In order to be vigilant about potential hidden assets in your divorce, you need to be aware of some of the most common ways spouses can attempt to hide assets.
5 Typical Ways Spouses Hide Assets
While some ways spouses hide assets are not very clever at all, many of them can actually be quite creative, so much so that to the untrained eye, they might make it through the divorce unnoticed. In that sense, you will want to hire a knowledgeable legal team, including a forensic accountant and maybe even a private investigator to verify all financial records. To help sharpen your hunches with regards to hidden assets, here are some typical ways spouses tend to hide assets during divorces:
Loans to Family and Friends — Your spouse might “lend” friends or family money with the secret understanding that such funds will be returned after the divorce is finalized.
Delayed Income or Bonuses — If your spouse has a business or makes freelance income, he or she might postpone getting paid on certain contracts to prevent you from getting part of those funds. The same is true for bonuses in full-time jobs, in which case your spouse might not disclose the expectation of a bonus that year.
Major Purchases That Seem Minor — Maybe your spouse collects stamps or other items that seem worthless to you. However, depending on the item, they might be very valuable. This essentially allows your spouse to “store” the great monetary value of their assets in the overlooked value of these “collector’s” items.
Transferring Assets — There are all sorts of ways that a spouse can transfer assets without you even realizing it. Potential methods include:
Gradually shifting funds from your joint account to your spouse’s individual account unbeknownst to you.
Trading stocks between investment accounts with family, friends, or even business partners for safekeeping until the divorce ends.
Creating a special bank account for your child or someone else to siphon off assets into that account until the divorce is over.
Creating complex cryptocurrency trades that are difficult to uncover, track, and regulate.
Overpaying Taxes or Underreporting Income on Tax Returns — Your spouse might fiddle with the figures on the tax returns so that once the divorce ends, he or she might stand to gain a large refund the following year.
Contact a Wheaton, IL Complex Divorce Lawyer
Keep on the lookout for potential hidden assets during a divorce, especially if you and your spouse have a diverse portfolio of assets and property. The astute team at Andrew Cores Family Law Group will thoroughly investigate your case to ensure you get your fair share of the assets during the divorce. If you suspect your spouse is committing the crime of hiding assets during a divorce, reach out to a DuPage County high-asset divorce attorney at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation.