Uncovering What Shouldn’t Be Covered
Getting a divorce after living a more affluent lifestyle can be challenging to try and plan for, but looking ahead at a different financial future might seem even more daunting. In order to try and gain a more favorable settlement and walk away with what they want, some people try to hide assets from their spouse in a divorce.
People attempt to hide assets in various ways, and if you suspect your spouse is attempting to deceive you and the courts, there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
Ways of Hiding Assets
A spouse can take numerous routes to attempt and hide assets from the other spouse. The following methods are commonly used to hide assets in a high-asset divorce:
A spouse might transfer money from one account to a different, separate account. This could be their own separate account or the account of a friend or family member.
A spouse could convert their cash to other assets and then back to cash after the divorce is finalized. For example, they could purchase a vehicle or artwork and then sell that item once the divorce is complete.
A spouse that owns a business could claim additional expenses and lower profits, especially if the divorce is early on in the process.
A spouse could simply give personal items to someone else with the understanding that the person is merely holding those assets for them.
Whichever scheme is used, it’s important to remember that hiding assets is illegal and has consequences. If you notice that your spouse is engaging in unusual activity, such as transferring funds, hiding mail or texts, or attempting to control all bank accounts, there might be something bigger happening.
What To Do If You Suspect Hidden Assets
The suspicion that your spouse is hiding assets is not enough for a court to make such a determination; there must be evidence that proves such deception is occurring. Your primary weapon against hidden assets is your high-asset divorce attorney, and they can guide you on what option is best for uncovering the truth. Common methods of determining whether or not a spouse is hiding assets include the following:
Discuss your suspicions with your attorney. If they believe you might have reason to believe your spouse is hiding assets, they can inform you of what the cost might be to work with a financial expert to help uncover them.
Work with a forensic accountant who can help you analyze financial records and determine if your spouse is attempting to hide anything.
Your attorney might recommend using discovery to pull bank statements and other financial documents from the last several years to analyze and determine any unusual patterns of behavior.
Your attorney might also recommend a subpoena to skip the discovery process and go straight to the financial institution for information.
Work With Your High-Asset Divorce Attorney
You should not tolerate your spouse hiding assets from you if you suspect it is occurring. Speak with your high-asset divorce attorney as soon you start sensing something in order to get ahead of the problem and uncover what your spouse might be doing. At Harmon Caldwell, we take hidden assets seriously and help our clients uncover the truth and protect what is rightfully theirs.
To learn more or to schedule a consultation, call us at (404) 882-7263 or visit us online.