Going through a divorce can be a tough process, both emotionally and financially. One of the most challenging aspects of ending your marriage is dividing up your assets in a fair and equitable way. The property division process can be difficult enough on its own, especially if you and your spouse disagree over who should receive what items or who should be entitled to a greater share of money or other financial assets. Unfortunately, there are some situations where these issues may become much more difficult to resolve due to one spouse’s attempts to hide assets from the other in an effort to keep more of the marital property for themselves.
If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, there are several steps you can take to uncover these dishonest actions. With the help of a qualified divorce lawyer, you can track down hidden assets and make sure that they are properly accounted for in your divorce settlement.
Methods of Uncovering Hidden Assets During the Divorce Process
There are numerous ways that spouses may attempt to conceal assets from each other. In some cases, it may be a good idea to conduct a physical search of your home or other property you own, looking for hiding places where cash, jewelry, or other valuables may have been hidden. Other common hiding spots include safe deposit boxes or the homes of friends or family members. However, some of the most egregious attempts to hide assets involve large-scale transfers of money. To uncover these types of issues, you may want to do the following:
Conduct a thorough review of your financial records. During the discovery phase of your divorce, you and your spouse should each provide a complete list of all your assets and debts, as well as supporting documentation. This includes bank statements, tax returns, investment account statements, and mortgage documents. Once you have this information, you can work with your lawyer and accountants or other financial experts to identify any discrepancies. This can be a sign that your spouse is trying to hide something.
Look for irregular spending patterns. If you have access to shared bank accounts or credit cards, pay close attention to any unusual charges or changes in spending patterns. This could be a sign that your spouse is using money to hide assets, such as by paying for storage units or making improvements to property that they intend to keep for themselves after the divorce. You can also look for transfers of money to other people. For example, your spouse may claim that they are paying a debt owed to a friend when they actually intend to receive this money back after the divorce is complete.
Pay attention to business debts and expenses. If your spouse is a business owner, be on the lookout for irregular financial transactions or sudden changes in operations. This could be anything from your spouse transferring ownership of the business to a relative or friend to changing the way income is reported on tax returns. These changes could be an attempt to hide business assets from you during the divorce process. In some cases, a business owner may pay a salary to a nonexistent employee as a way of transferring assets to a hidden account. They may also attempt to devalue their business assets, such as by delaying major deals until after the divorce, in order to avoid the fair and equitable division of marital property.
Contact Our Rockland County Property Division Attorney
Going through a divorce is tough enough without having to worry about unfair or illegal actions by your spouse. If you think that your spouse may be hiding assets from you during the divorce process, there are multiple ways to uncover these actions. By taking the time to review relevant financial documents carefully with the help of a forensic accountant or other financial experts, you can uncover any hidden assets and ensure that your financial interests will be protected during your divorce. At Law Offices of Robert S. Lewis, P.C., our Hudson Valley asset division lawyer can provide the legal help you need to ensure that you will be able to end your marriage and move forward successfully. Call us at 845-358-7100 to arrange a free consultation today.