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How might spouses hide assets during a divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2024 | Divorce

Divorce proceedings typically require that someone disclose their property and debts. Both spouses typically need to provide an accurate accounting of their resources and financial obligations to each other and the courts.

All too often, people preparing for divorce decide that the rules don’t need to apply to them. They try to hide assets to reduce how much they share with their spouse and how much their spouse receives in the divorce. The other spouse has to locate those assets to secure a fair property division decree. Where should someone look for hidden property as they prepare for divorce?

Household financial records

Tax returns, bank statements and credit card records can provide a lot of insight. Not only can people sometimes find discrepancies that show their spouse has hidden assets from them, but they may also find evidence of where they hid those assets. Charges for safe deposit boxes or storage units could help someone locate assets hidden by their spouse. Other times, people may note discrepancies and decide to secure help from a forensic accountant.

Friends and family

Some people do not put jewelry or furniture in a storage unit but instead transfer it to people they trust. They may simply hide property with people they know or sell the items for a fraction of their value with the intent of buying them back after the divorce.

Additionally, some people hide assets in plain sight. For example, they might not claim valuable property that they assume their spouse has no interest in receiving when they divorce.

Those concerned about hidden assets and hoping to protect themselves often need support as they prepare for divorce. Knowing where to start looking for hidden assets can help with the preparation process, as can seeking personalized legal guidance.