When a couple files for divorce, property distribution is often one of the most substantial issues to negotiate. Sometimes, a spouse may try to hide assets in order to keep more for themselves and deny their spouse a fair divorce settlement. If you are concerned that your spouse may be hiding assets in your California divorce case, the experienced attorneys at Kearney Baker are here to help you discover hidden assets and ensure that you receive a full and fair settlement in your divorce case. To learn more, call or contact our office today to schedule a consultation.
Check Tax Returns
The first place to check for hidden assets are in your spouse’s tax returns. Lying about income or assets to the government is a crime, and your spouse may not want to risk criminal penalties by failing to disclose assets to the IRS even if they are trying to hide those assets from you. Look for inconsistencies in income, or any previously undiscovered trusts, partnerships, investments, or real estate holdings.
Review Checking and Savings Accounts
The next place to check for hidden assets is in checking and savings accounts. Request all canceled checks from the accounts you know about and be sure to request information for all financial accounts during the discovery phase of your divorce. It may turn up accounts that your spouse had been hiding for the entirety of the marriage. You should also look for any accounts that are set up in your child’s name, or using their social security number, as a parent may try to hide assets in unreported financial accounts that way.
Hiding Assets With Family or Friends
Your spouse may also get friends, family, or someone they are engaged in a relationship with to help them hide assets. One common example is creating a fake debt and giving money to a friend, with the expectation that it will be returned once the divorce is finalized. Assets may also be used to purchase gifts, vacations, pay rent, and more in an adulterous relationship before the divorce is finalized.
Hiding Assets in a Business
Finally, a spouse may try and hide assets in a business if they are an owner or partner in the company. One way to hide assets is to pay a salary to a fake employee and void the checks once the divorce is finalized. Another way is to convert money into an expensive item for the office, such as artwork or furniture, and under report the value during the divorce.
Call or Contact Our Office Now
If you have concerns that your spouse may be hiding assets in your California divorce, call the office or contact us today at the law office of Kearney Baker in Pasadena to speak with a knowledgeable divorce attorney about your case and learn more about your legal options. You may be entitled to a greater share of the marital estate if it is discovered that your spouse is hiding assets during your divorce.