Can a Spouse Hide Assets During Divorce?
The division of assets is one of the most concerning and stressful facets of divorce. If you’re currently facing a divorce, you might wonder if you can hide assets or if your soon-to-be-ex-spouse is hiding assets. These are typical concerns that our Brandon divorce lawyers deal with every day. To ensure that you are following Florida laws when it comes to assets and divorce and that your rights are protected, legal representation is essential.
Is Hiding Assets Legal in Divorce?
It’s only natural to want to keep as many assets in a divorce as possible. After all, you have to look out for yourself, your future, and any children you have. However, hiding assets to accomplish this goal is illegal. The first step in asset division is for all of the assets to be exposed. Whether they were owned by a single spouse before the marriage or acquired during the marriage, the couple and their Brandon divorce attorneys must know what assets are available. If one spouse is hiding assets, this goal can’t be accomplished fairly.
If a judge catches a spouse hiding assets, the consequences can be severe. They could be subject to:
- Reallocation of marital assets in the other spouse’s favor
- Contempt of civil or criminal court charges
- Possible fraud charges
How Spouses Hide Assets
Even though it’s illegal, many spouses don’t care and still hide assets. Suspecting that your spouse is hiding assets can be infuriating, to say the least. It’s crucial to be aware of the ways in which many spouses attempt to hide assets from the courts so that you can protect your rights. You might be surprised to learn that hiding assets isn’t always as complex or secretive as some might think.
Common ways spouses hide assets include:
- Purchasing high ticket items that could easily be unnoticed or undervalued, such as an antique rug or coins for a coin collection.
- Putting cash in a safe deposit box, somewhere in the house, or in another location
- Underreport income on tax returns or other financial statements so that it can’t be included in a financial analysis
- Overpaying the IRS or creditors to get a refund for the overpayment once the divorce is final
- Deferring salary, delaying signing new contracts, or holding commissions or bonuses so income can’t be included in the couple’s assets
- Creating fake debt by establishing loans or expenses with friends or family so they can pay them and get the money back after the divorce is over
- Setting up a custodial account in a child’s name, or better yet, using another person’s social security number, making it more challenging to locate the account
- Transferring stock or investment accounts into the names of family members, business partners, or fake companies so that they can transfer them back after the assets are legally divided
Are You Concerned About Hidden Assets? Contact an Experienced Brandon Divorce Attorney Today
You deserve what is rightfully yours in a divorce. At Carman, Bevington & Finegan, we know how to discover hidden assets and hold spouses accountable. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Brandon divorce lawyers.