In the divorce process one of the most important things to establish is an accurate and complete inventory of assets for each party to ensure all marital assets (and some assets purchased prior to the marriage, depending on agreements and law) can be fairly separated and divided. Unfortunately, many divorcing couples harbor ill-will towards each other, and do not want to divide property and assets equally or fairly. Some former spouses feel they are entitled to certain assets and to ensure they secure those assets they attempt to conceal them from each other and the Court.
There are many ways parties can attempt to hide assets and their income from each other. Assets can be concealed over the course of years or even decades or attempts may be made to conceal them just before or immediately after a divorce filing. The Law Office of Steven M. Bishop,CFLS, has the experience and resources to analyze documents and actions for evidence of asset or income concealment. Attorney Bishop has decades of experience assisting clients to navigate the divorce process.
A few of the more common ways parties conceal wealth or hide income from each other are to transfer assets to a separate account or to take out cash withdrawals.
Transferring assets to a separate account
One of the most common ways that spouses conceal wealth from each other is by moving assets from a joint account into a separate, individually-owned account. Spouses can move assets from jointly-owned bank accounts (both checking and savings), brokerage accounts, investment accounts and the like, into an individually-owned account. Some spouses will utilize off-shore accounts for this purpose, or they will simply fail to inform their attorney or the court of the existence of the account at the time of divorce. Some spouses may not find out about the concealment until years after a divorce has been finalized.
Masking cash withdrawals
This is a common method used to build-up cash reserves, and employed over a long period of time can be especially damaging and very difficult to trace and prove. Once the cash is withdrawn it can be deposited into an individually-owned account or stored in places like a safe deposit box. Over time, the cash reserves can grow quickly, and the other spouse may have no idea that these sorts of actions have ever taken place.
If you are concerned that your former spouses or soon-to-be former spouse may be concealing wealth or assets from you, contact the Law Firm of Steven M. Bishop today to speak to our experienced legal staff. We will aggressively advocate on your behalf to ensure that your marital assets are all accounted for and divided in a fair and equitable manner.