Hiding Assets in a Divorce
Florida law requires divorcing spouses to fairly divide (or “equitably distribute”) their marital property. This includes income earned and property acquired during the marriage. The outcome of marital property distribution can impact your financial future, so you want to ensure that you receive the fair distribution of property that you deserve under the law.
Unfortunately, some spouses may try to hide assets from a spouse, so they do not have to give them up. There are many ways that your spouse may try to accomplish this, and it is critical to have an attorney who knows how to identify when your spouse may be trying to hide assets from you.
A spouse may open an individual account and begin making deposits in that account over time without your knowledge. If your spouse receives a bonus or sells investments, they may try to conceal those funds in a separate account, hoping that you will never know.
If your spouse is planning a divorce, they might start trying to temporarily give some assets to others or transfer stock, planning to receive them back after the divorce. They also might plan vacations or make other large purchases to avoid giving you your share of the marital savings.
An important stage of any divorce case is called “discovery.” Your attorney can request detailed documents and information from your spouse regarding their entire financial picture. Tax returns can show investment sales of which you were not aware, or the inspection of your spouse’s art, antique, or wine collection can indicate new recent additions.
If your spouse fails to provide requested information during discovery or gives false information, they can find themselves in trouble with the court. If the court learns your spouse continued to conceal assets, the judge may even hold your spouse in contempt. If there is any suspicion that your spouse may try to hide assets, you need an attorney who knows how to use discovery to uncover deceitfulness.
When you are facing an uncertain future after divorce, you may consider squirreling away money here and there to ensure you can keep those funds. Before you make any financial moves, always discuss the matter with your attorney, who can advise you whether or not the move is appropriate as it can lead to accusations of asset concealment and may be used against you during the divorce process.
The divorce lawyers at Carman & Bevington represent clients from all types of financial situations. Whether your property is relatively straightforward, or you have a complex financial and investment portfolio, we can assist you. Call 813-305-0631 or contact us online to learn more.