It can be frustrating to go though a divorce, but it is even more frustrating when you believe that your spouse is hiding or concealing income or assets from you or your divorce attorney. Are the numbers simply not adding up to you? Here are three common ways that spouses attempt to hide assets or money in a divorce:
Transferring money or other assets to another person: If you spouse has a boyfriend or girlfriend or a trusted sibling, they may be putting money into an account under that person’s name and using their social security number. Your spouse can also transfer stock, bonds or other investments to another individual or into a “dummy” account. After the divorce, those assets can then be transferred back to your spouse. If there are more tangible assets, such as jewelry or artwork, your spouse could give those items to a third party to keep for them until after your divorce is over.
Overpaying the IRS: Divorcing spouses can instruct the IRS to use any refund due to you both this year towards taxes owed next year, after the divorce is over. The result is an even larger refund that will get sent to your spouse after your divorce is over. If you were not aware that your spouse instructed the IRS to use your refund toward next year’s taxes, you may never know that an even larger refund will be paid out to your spouse long after you have both moved on.
Delaying raises or sending invoices to clients: If your spouse has their own business, it is possible that they may hold off on mailing out invoices to clients until after your divorce is final. This way, the monies for these invoices are not received until after the divorce and therefore do not appear in any accounts that may be subject to division in your divorce. ON the other hand, if your spouse has an employer, they may suggest to that employer to delay any raises or bonuses until after your divorce case is resolved. Again, this tactic will keep that money out of your bank accounts. This is especially difficult to detect if your spouse does not get regular bonuses or raises at the same time each year.
So, how do you combat these tactics of secreting money or other types of assets during your divorce? Hire an experienced, thorough and qualified financial expert, particularly one with experience in forensic accounting in divorces. Your family law attorney can certainly recommend someone with whom they have worked in the past and who has experience dealing with your particular types of issues. Be as aware as you possibly can about your finances as soon as you can. Don’t delay learning all about your income, expenses, budget and debt. The more you know, the better you can combat, with the help of your divorce professionals, any attempt to hide away property to which you may have some stake in your divorce.
Hiding money or any other assets in a divorce is illegal, but unfortunately it is commonly and easily done in divorce cases. Get educated and be sure to have trusted, qualified and experienced professionals in your corner as soon as possible. The longer you delay, the deeper the assets can be buried.
If you would like more assistance, please contact us today to schedule your free consultation with one of our qualified and compassionate divorce and family law attorneys who can help you with your divorce or any other type of family law matter.