Divorce is complicated and upsetting. When one spouse attempts to hide assets from the other during the process, it makes an already stressful situation that much worse.
To be clear, failing to disclose all assets during a divorce carries consequences. If one spouse does so and the other spouse finds out after the divorce is finalized, then the court can award more of the hidden assets to the aggrieved spouse. It can also order the spouse who hid the assets to pay the other spouse's court costs and attorney fees.
Even with this possible consequence, it is a fact of life that divorcing spouses hide assets. After all, according to the National Endowment for Financial Education, 31% of couples are deceptive with their partner when it comes to money. Getting a divorce does not improve this situation, particularly if one party feels that they are more entitled to the assets than the other.
It is fairly easy to hide assets, especially if the couple has a complex financial life and/or if one spouse is more in charge of the finances than the other. A few simple ways to conceal assets include:
- Hiding cash in a safe deposit box
- Opening a checking or savings account in a separate, undisclosed bank
- Buying property such as jewelry, coins and art work and then hiding them in a secure location
- Overpaying the IRS and then receiving a refund after the divorce is final
- Deferring compensation - work bonuses or raises - until after the divorce is complete
If you are considering divorce and worried that you might not receive the settlement that you deserve because your spouse is hiding assets, then contact us. Our experienced, dedicated divorce lawyers will review your situation and determine the best path forward. We are here to protect your rights.