How Do People Hide Assets During Divorce?

As your White Plains divorce attorney starts negotiating with your spouse’s lawyer regarding asset division, you may note significant discrepancies. You are convinced that you have more marital assets to split than what your spouse declared.

Unfortunately, it’s common practice for some people to try and hide assets before a divorce. Many of them start doing it quietly, even before they start talking about a separation. If you think your marriage isn’t working out, pay attention to the following tactics your spouse may use to hide assets.

1. Making Significant Cash Withdrawals

This is the most common way of reducing the amount of money in the joint account to be divided during the divorce. Once your spouse has the cash in hand, they can hide it anywhere: at their parents’ house, in a locked drawer at the office, and so on.

Thus, you must keep track of all account statements and pay attention to repeated cash withdrawals. Make sure to inform your divorce lawyer about them. We will make sure this money resurfaces and is duly reported in the statement of marital assets.

2. Paying Back Loans to Family Members or Friends

Another method for hiding assets is suddenly repaying a loan to a friend or someone in the family. In most cases, the spouse will produce a handwritten agreement, which is duly back-dated.

However, once your White Plains divorce lawyer brings a forensic accountant to inspect the transaction, the truth will come out. The other party involved in asset hiding will realize that they don’t want to get in trouble with the law and will tell the truth about the so-called loans.

3. Starting a New Business Venture

When your spouse decides to start a new business – especially in a field in which they have no experience – just before filing for divorce, treat it as a major red flag. In most of the situations, they will report consistent losses, meaning that there is no money to be divided during the divorce.

In reality, they will quickly dissolve the venture after the divorce and retrieve most (if not all) of the money they invested.

hiding assets in a divorce

4. Making Sudden Trips Abroad

A trip abroad may be a way to ease the emotional pressure of a pending divorce. But, most likely, it is a means of hiding assets in:

  • Real estate property
  • Valuables held in security boxes
  • Offshore business ventures
  • Offshore bank accounts.

You must keep track of your spouse’s travel plans and the cash withdrawals or money transfers they make. Your divorce attorney will help recover all the hidden assets, with the assistance of expert witnesses, if necessary.

5. Buying Valuables with Cash

Some spouses start buying expensive watches, artworks, jewelry or other valuables with cash right before or during the divorce. In most cases, they will declare a much lower value and strive to keep the respective asset after the divorce.

They will then resell it at its real value – or a slightly lesser one. At this point, there is nothing to do to recover the part of the value which would be rightfully yours.

6. Delaying Bonuses and Promotions

Some people manage to persuade their superiors at work to delay a significant bonus or a promotion to a better-paid position until after the divorce. This is very difficult, but not impossible to prove, especially if your spouse had been bragging about this before the divorce.

Thus, you should share your suspicions with your lawyer. If necessary, we can legally compel your spouse’s employer to disclose planned bonuses or promotions.

7. Setting Up Custodial Accounts for Children

This is a really low blow because you can hardly object to your spouse providing for your children. However, only trust funds are untouchable by the person setting them up. There is nothing to prevent your spouse from depleting the custodial account once the divorce is over.

Your lawyer will take charge of this situation and work with relevant expert witnesses to prove your spouse’s bad faith in setting up the account.

Call an Experienced White Plains Divorce Attorney!

Under New York law, you deserve a fair portion of marital assets after the divorce. However, many people want to keep more than their fair share and resort to hiding assets. If you suspect this is the case, talk to your White Plains divorce attorney.

We have extensive experience in ensuring that our clients get what is rightfully theirs and can expose the most complex asset hiding schemes. Do not wait any longer. Call 914-615-9058 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment with us!

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