Many disputes may arise during the divorce process but some of the most heated involve asset division. The shared philosophy of “what is mine is yours” that prevailed during the marriage tends to fall away and spouses can find themselves suddenly fighting aggressively over certain assets. In some instances, spouses may even become so intent on holding onto certain assets that they try to hide them.
The situation is more common than many people think, and it is also one that can seem hopeless. Fortunately, it is not. Our team of family law lawyers are aware of the many ways in which divorcing individuals attempt to hide assets, and how to find them.
Gifting to Friends and Relatives
Your spouse’s friends and relatives sadly may no longer feel any loyalty to you. Your spouse may “gift” this group with certain valuable assets. This gesture is not really a gift at all, though. It is a way to transfer ownership during divorce proceedings so your spouse can retrieve the assets once the divorce is final. In other cases, your spouse may simply ask friends and relatives to hide the assets for them temporarily.
Sometimes, divorcing spouses go so far as to cut backroom deals with their employer. For example, they may ask to be paid under the table in exchange for doing extra work so they can lower their documented income. Or, they may ask their employer to hold off on a substantial raise, bonus, or commission until the divorce is final so the windfall is not part of divorce proceedings.
Spouses who are particularly cunning may overpay their taxes on a recent bill. Knowing they will get reimbursed with a refund once the divorce is final, they have no fear that they will lose the money. In fact, they will keep it after the proceedings.
Making Purchases Likely To Be Undervalued
Not all assets are easy to value in a divorce. Jewelry, artwork, coins, firearms, and sport memorabilia are all assets that are commonly undervalued during divorce. Someone may purchase these as investment pieces and either keep them after the divorce so they appreciate in value, or they may sell them once the divorce is final and keep the full profits.
Creating New Financial Accounts
Financial accounts are typically divided in a divorce, even if they are under one spouse’s name only. To prevent this from happening, people will often create new fake accounts in the name of another person. They may open an account in the name of a friend or relative, or they may use their child’s Social Security number to open an account in their name.
Our Team Can Help You Uncover Hidden Assets
If you are going through a divorce and think your spouse may hide assets, our Campbell property division lawyer at Heppner & Pagan, LLP can uncover them. Call us now at 408-688-9153 or reach out to us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help.