In a number of our posts, we have highlighted the importance of being prepared before going through the process. This is includes being financially and emotionally ready for a lifestyle change not only for your sake, but for your children’s as well. However, the complex intertwinement of emotions and finances can be so difficult that a spouse may be able to hide assets without being discovered.
This is where a savvy spouse can make the most of what he or she is entitled to in a divorce by discovering hidden assets. This post will briefly highlight some of the strategies used to hide them.
Safe deposit boxes – A traditional, yet crude method, a spouse may use a personal safe deposit box to hide cash or title to undisclosed assets. This is why interrogatories asking for all information relating to all financial institutions is critical. Simply put, not all wealth is electronically tracked.
Offshore accounts – Just like the havens from IRS scrutiny, offshore accounts may house undisclosed marital property. So just because money is not in a joint checking or savings account does not mean that it does not exist at all.
Undervalued businesses – Like the adage “addition by subtraction” money could be hidden in a business that is undervalued on paper but is worth much more in reality. So a business that may look like it is underperforming may be a safe haven for hidden marital property.
If you believe that your spouse is hiding assets, it is essential to speak with an experienced family law attorney with knowledge of forensic accounting to find exactly where marital property may be hidden.