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Spotting Hidden Assets in Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Crystal Lake divorce lawyer, hidden assets in divorce, hiding assets, marital assets, spotting hidden assetsProperty division is a major concern in divorce—especially in one without custody issues. In order for a court to perform a fair and equitable property division, the court needs to have a clear picture of all of the marriage's assets. To help with this, several different counties require spouses to disclose marital assets. Yet while most spouses do this honestly, it is important to have an awareness of the common methods for hiding assets. This can help ensure that both spouses have properly performed the disclosure. At its most basic, spouses can hide assets in one of two ways—either making their income look smaller or making their expenses look bigger.

Concealing Income

One of the most common ways a spouse can conceal income is through coordination with an employer. If a spouse knows that he or she is due for a raise or a large commission, he or she can then talk to their boss and request to have it put off until after a divorce is finalized. This allows a spouse to keep the extra money way from the eyes of the court.

Spouses can also hide money by doing taxes in certain ways. If a spouse wants to keep money out of a divorce, then he or she can overpay his or her taxes. When the time comes for a refund, a spouse can choose to forgo a tax refund, and instead use the money as credit against future taxes. This way, rather than dividing up a refund in a divorce, a spouse can keep it all for him or herself and make it back by saving money the next year on his or her taxes. The easiest way to combat this tactic is to make sure to properly scrutinize all tax returns to see if money is missing.

Pumping up Expenses

Another common way to hide income is to make it look as though there is more money going out of a marriage than their actually is, and then pocketing the difference. The most straightforward of these strategies is to drain small amounts of money from joint accounts and then hide it in an account of which the other spouse is not aware. However, bank accounts can often be tracked down, so simple diligence can usually defeat this strategy.

More sophisticated spouses pull money out of accounts and “loan” the funds to friends for safekeeping. This trick is a bit harder to spot, but watching out for large withdrawals from bank accounts that go unaccounted for can often be the simplest way of spotting this form of concealment.

These are just a few of the tricks that savvy, unscrupulous spouses use to hide money.

If you are going through a divorce and want to ensure that all marital funds are properly accounted for, and additionally suspect hidden assets to be an issue, please contact an experienced Crystal Lake divorce lawyer today.

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