All divorcing couples are legally required to fully disclose all assets, income, and debt. Yet, when the point comes for spouses to distribute assets in a divorce, one spouse may discover there is much less to divide than they thought. Some spouses find a way to hide assets and avoid handing over more than they consider fair. A spouse may start hiding money well before the divorce is initiated. Sensing that the marriage is not working, they may consult a financial planner to rearrange assets in unlikely ways to appear to be worth much less than they really are.
The first step in recovering missing assets is hiring an experienced divorce lawyer. Your divorce lawyer will then hire a skilled forensic accountant, one who knows how to spot clues to missing money. Your attorney and accountant will determine if income was somehow diverted.
Common ways a spouse can hide assets from their ex-partner include:
- Cash held as traveler’s checks
- Custodial bank account set up in a child’s name
- Expenses paid for a significant other like car payments, rent, or tuition
- Money paid from a business account to a friend or family member for fake services
- Paying a non-existent debt to a friend or family member
- Salary paid to an employee who does not exist
- Valuable objects like art, tools, and other collections that are kept at the office and/or under-appraised
- Working with a boss or supervisor to delay income, such as a bonus or raise, until after a divorce is final
Protecting Assets Before Divorce
Many men and women are blindsided to learn that the partner they trusted has hidden assets. Once divorce papers are filed, it is startling how quickly things can change. There are consequences for spouses that hide assets, including a dismissal of their claim or requiring them to pay for your attorney fees.
You can take the steps needed to protect the assets you deserve before divorce proceedings begin by keeping copies of all important financial records, including bank statements and tax returns. Hold them in a safe place outside of the marital home with a trusted friend or family member. Consider opening a separate savings account for after the divorce. You may have to hand over a portion of your nest egg to your ex-spouse, but you will still have something to finance your new life. Smart financial planning during the marriage can protect you when it ends.
Towson Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Help Clients Recover Hidden Assets
Contact the experienced Towson divorce lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC to learn how to discover and protect the assets you deserve. Practical financial planning throughout the marriage helps to prevent financial abuse from a spouse.
Call us at 443-589-0150 or contact us online today to schedule your free initial consultation. Our offices are located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, and we proudly serve residents throughout the state.