In many divorce cases, one spouse may hide assets during the process in order to avoid sharing them with their soon-to-be ex. Some spouses may have secret accounts and other financial activities that they have kept hidden throughout the marriage. The more complex the financial profile of one our both spouses is, the more difficult it may be to gather necessary information for a fair settlement. In order to get a fair divorce settlement for yourself, you need to find ways to expose these assets. Finding hidden income and assets is not always easy, and a Glendale divorce attorney can help you identify them. Here are some of the ways your spouse may be hiding assets and how to find them:
1. Tax returns may expose hidden assets. Go back at least 5 years to look for any inconsistencies in income, the presence of trusts, partnerships or real estate holdings.
2. Lush furnishings in your spouse’s office or other spaces such as antiques, artwork or hobby equipment may be overlooked and undervalued.
3. Identify the most recent point in the marriage where things were still going well, and money was good. Use this as a benchmark for income, and you will be able to see how income may or may not have changed after things started to get rocky or when the divorce was filed.
4. Bank account statements can reveal purchases you never knew about and cancelled checks from accounts you didn’t know about can make a big difference in how assets are divided. During the discovery phase of your divorce process, be sure to request copies of all financial accounts.
5. Look for the red flags that could indicate financial manipulation such a missing documents from a certain period of time, confusing transactions that may have been used to cover up other income or assets, or declining balances with no logical explanations.
6. Your spouse’s boss may help hide assets by being persuaded to delay a bonus, stock option or raise until after the divorce is finalized.
7. A friend or other third party could also help your spouse hide assets. They can do this by making up a phony debt to the friend with the understanding that once the divorce is final, the money will be returned. Some money or assets may also be put toward another man/woman with your ex-spouse to ay for gifts, vacations, rents and other costs.
8. Your spouse might be delaying signing a long-term business contract until after the divorce is final.
Every divorce case is different. An experienced Glendale divorce lawyer at The Sampair Group will look at the unique circumstances of your divorce and work with you to reach the best possible outcome. Contact us today for a free consultation.