How to Deal with Hidden Assets in a Divorce
Before a divorce can be finalized, the parties in a divorce must reach an agreement about how to divide property and assets, as well as any debts the parties have. While parties can reach an agreement about these issues outside of court through mediation and negotiation, sometimes, a court must intervene. Indeed, if couples are unable to agree, the court will consider numerous factors--including the assets held by each party and the marriage--and issue a judgment.
Unfortunately, while couples are required to make a full disclosure of their assets in a divorce, sometimes, a party will hide assets in an attempt to shield the asset from division or ensure that the asset is not considered by the court in its decision. If you believe your spouse is hiding assets, here are some tips for how to deal with this issue:
Look for Red Flags
Do not just accept your spouse’s financial disclosure as being honest; instead, you should look for red flags to rule out the potential that your spouse is hiding assets. Some signs that your spouse may be hiding assets that you do not know about include:
- Itemized deductions on a tax return that do not appear elsewhere;
- Interest or dividends that are not associated with accounts you are aware of;
- Additional assets showing up on a business profit and loss statement;
- Additional income from sources you are unaware of.
In addition to reviewing tax returns and other financial documents--which you should absolutely do with the assistance of a financial professional--you should also look for any signs of hidden assets in your safety deposit boxes, safes, and other hiding places.
Hire a Forensic Accountant
If you are in a high-asset marriage and believe that your spouse is hiding assets, making sense of the various financial documents that are disclosed during the divorce process solo may prove impossible. To assist you, you should absolutely consider hiring a forensic accountant. A forensic accountant will know how to dig deep to uncover hidden assets, as well as any other financial details your spouse may be hiding.
What Happens if My Spouse is Hiding Assets?
Uncovering hidden assets is very important, as hidden assets could have a significant effect on your property division award, spousal support award, and even child support payments. What is more, if your spouse is hiding assets and this is discovered by the court, he or she may face penalties for those actions. Making a full and truthful disclosure is required; breaching this requirement carries consequences.
How an Experienced Divorce Lawyer Can Help
At the law offices of John Powell III, P.C., our experienced divorce lawyer understands that dividing property and resolving other issues in a divorce can be complicated, especially if you are in a high-asset marriage. When you call our divorce attorney, you can count on a professional who will not only advocate for you, but who has the knowledge, resources, and skill set that is required to uncover hidden assets and get you the best settlement possible. Please call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how our lawyer can help (832) 850-6095.