Complex divorce matters may include hidden assets

When a couple with high net worth decides to divorce, determining an equitable division of assets can be a careful procedure.

It is not uncommon for one spouse or the other to attempt to conceal certain assets until the divorce is final. If you suspect your soon-to-be ex is doing this, your attorney may want to gather a team of experts to help investigate the matter.

Hiding in plain sight

Men in particular try to hide cash, but they often choose predictable places where a professional such as an appraiser or a forensic accountant would look. For example, your husband might convert cash into an expensive sculpture, which he can then place in his office for the time being. When the divorce becomes final, he can sell the sculpture and the cash goes back into his pocket. He might also squirrel cash away in a custodial account that he opens under the name of your 10-year-old son, using the boy’s social security number.

Fake payments

If your spouse owns a business, he might deposit salary payments into the account of a fake employee. He could collude with a relative or friend from whom he purchases goods or services, and who will return the money to him when the divorce is final. Your spouse might also delay the signing of a business contract until after the divorce so that he does not have to share proceeds with you. The law considers this to be hiding assets as well.

Creative efforts

People with divorce coming up who hide assets can be creative. Your spouse may begin purchasing expensive items that he never showed any interest in before, such as rare baseball memorabilia or a BMW convertible, items that he can convert to cash later. If he makes any kind of cash transactions in his business, he can pocket those funds without having to report anything on his tax return. Who would know?

This is where your attorney’s team of experts enters the picture. You want an equitable distribution of assets, and with the help of experienced professionals, you can have a better chance of success.

 

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