Looking for Hidden Assets During Your Divorce
How to locate the property your partner may be hiding when you file for a divorce.
This list contains common ways in which a partner may undervalue or conceal marital assets to bypass the division of assets in Orlando:
- Antiques, art, hobby gear, gun collections, and overlooked or undervalued tools are common. Look for antique furniture, authentic paintings, or collector-level rugs in the office.
- Unreported income on tax returns and financial statements is worth keeping an eye out for.
- Cash held in the form of travelers' checks. You may locate these by tracing bank account deposits and withdrawals.
- A custodial fund that is set up in a kid's name, using the child's Social Security number.
- Investment in certificate "bearer" municipal bonds or Series EE Savings Bonds is common. These do not materialize on account statements because they are not recorded with the IRS. (The country is phasing out these bonds, realizing it is forfeiting a lot of money.)
- Collaboration with an employer to defer bonuses, stock opportunities, or raises until a juncture when the asset would be deemed separate property.
- Debt reimbursement to a friend for a fake debt happens often.
- Payments paid for a girlfriend or boyfriend, including gifts, travel, lease fees, or tuition for college or courses, are regularly discovered.
- Retirement funds that your partner never notifies you about might exist.
In addition, business proprietors may attempt to conceal assets in these ways:
- Skimming money from the company.
- Salary earnings to nonexistent employees, with checks they will cancel after the divorce.
- Money disbursed from the company to somebody close -- like a dad, mom, girlfriend, or boyfriend -- for services that were never even rendered (assuming the capital is given back to your partner after the divorce is over).
- A delay in signing long-term company contracts until after the divorce. Although this may appear to be wise planning, it is considered to be hiding assets if the purpose is to reduce the company's value.
When looking for these commodities, you may have a problem finding them or obtaining the proof you need to indicate they exist. Formal discovery processes through litigation might help. For example, you could bring the deposition (legal interview) of your mate's boss or payroll director. But you may also need to engage a forensic accountant or a private investigator. (A forensic accountant is an accountant who is trained to look into accounting practices to gather evidence that you can use in court.) Usually, a lawyer can guide you to these professionals.
Record Your Finances Before Filing for Divorce
If you suspect your spouse may try to hide assets, examining your household and business finances is best before prompting divorce proceedings. Make duplicates of necessary documents such as tax returns from the last several years, bank account statements, pay stubs, and other records that reflect common assets or debts. Maintain copies of these documents outside your home if you live with your spouse or partner.
Use these tips for locating assets your spouse may be hiding during your divorce. Then, contact us right away if you need support with division of assets in Orlando. We are here for you!