In your divorce, your marital assets must be divided fairly. If the court does not have documentation of all of your assets or their values, it cannot make a fair determination about how they should be divided in your divorce settlement.
Sometimes, individuals hide assets in order to keep them from being divided. This is unfair to their spouses and can result in the unequal division of their property. If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets from you, speak to your divorce lawyer about taking steps to recover these assets so they can be divided fairly.
Strategies for Hiding Assets
There are numerous ways an individual can attempt to hide assets in a divorce. A few examples of these strategies include:
- Making large cash purchases;
- Making “investments” in a business or making payments to an employee or an account that does not actually exist;
- Moving assets into another party’s name;
- Creating a custodial account for your child and depositing money there;
- Failing to report income;
- Delaying a promotion or bonus until after your divorce is finalized; and
- Making false purchases, such as paying a close friend for “consulting services” as a way to hide money.
Finding and Valuing Hidden Assets
If you do not trust your partner to voluntarily disclose the marital assets to which he or she has access, you can have the court make orders to require his or her disclosure. A few strategies the court may use include:
- A document or inspection demand. Your lawyer can request that your spouse provide documentation about your marital assets like tax returns and account records, known as a document demand. He or she can also make an inspection demand, which is a request that you have the opportunity to inspect a space where your assets could potentially be, such as a safe deposit box;
- An oral deposition. This is a testimony made to a court reporter, which can be about your marital assets; and
- An interrogation. This is a request for truthful, specific statements about your marital assets made orally or in writing.
Once you have located any assets your spouse attempted to hide, your lawyer might contact a forensic accountant to value the assets so the court can fairly divide them.
Work with an Experienced La Crosse Divorce Lawyer
If you think your spouse might be hiding assets from you to keep them from being divided in your divorce, do not simply stand by and hope that he or she comes clean.
Work with an experienced divorce lawyer to take the necessary action to make your spouse come clean and have the court fairly divide your marital assets. To learn more about finding an dividing hidden assets in a divorce, speak with one of the experienced divorce lawyers at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. Contact our office today to set up your initial consultation with us.