Can a Spouse Hide Assets in a Divorce?
Divorce is the dissolution of your marriage, and that is difficult enough to process without additional concerns. However, one of the primary elements of every divorce is the division of community property. Rather than being divided right down the middle, these assets will need to be divided between you in a manner that is considered equitable and fair under the given circumstances.
The only way to obtain a truly equitable division of your community property is to obtain a thorough accounting of these assets. Some divorcing spouses are not above fudging the numbers in an effort to grab more than their share, and some spouses will go to great lengths to hide property or assets from the other. It’s important to remain aware of the possibility of assets being hidden in your divorce, and an experienced Fort Worth divorce attorney can help you with this determination.
The Legal Requirements
In a divorce, both parties are subject to legal requirements, and these include disclosing all assets, debts, and income during the financial disclosure process. Because the only way to divide marital property equitably is via complete financial disclosure, this is a critical component of every divorce.
Each of you will be required to sign a financial affidavit, which is under oath and subject to the penalty of perjury. If it turns out that your spouse fails to include all applicable assets, he or she can face serious penalties with the court.
Some Common Tactics
Hiding assets can involve complicated maneuvers, a very simple practice, or anything in between. The following are some of the most common methods of hiding assets in divorce:
- Making purchases without telling you about them and keeping them hidden from you
- Undervaluing marital property
- Understating one’s income, including hiding overtime, delaying bonuses or commission, and more
- Inflating one’s expenses
- Offloading assets by giftingthem to friends or family and expecting to receive them back after the divorce
- Concealing financial accounts or having offshore accounts
If your marital assets don’t seem to be adding up, it’s time to discuss your concerns with your dedicated divorce attorney – who has the experience and legal know-how to ascertain the truth.
Some factors that tend to make hiding assets in a divorce easier to do and more difficult to spot include:
- High assets
- High conflict
- Business ownership
- Ownership of multiple properties
In some marriages, one spouse might handle the financial affairs, and the other spouse might have little knowledge of their financial details. This makes it easier for a spouse to try to hide assets and makes the other person more vulnerable to an unfair property division outcome.
You Need an Experienced Fort Worth Divorce Attorney on Your Side
Your divorce will set the course for your financial future, and if your divorcing spouse is hiding assets, it can put you at a distinct disadvantage. The accomplished Fort Worth divorce attorneys at The Law Office of J. Kevin Clark are well-acquainted with destructive asset-hiding techniques and are committed to employing their considerable experience to help protect you from them. For more information, please don’t wait to contact us online or call us at 817-348-6723 today.