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Hiding assets can delay your divorce settlement

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2024 | Divorce

California is one of nine states that operate under community property guidelines for property division proceedings. This means that all marital assets and liabilities are split 50/50 between both spouses. When you file for a divorce, you can expect your spouse to adhere to full disclosure rules. If issues arise that cause you to suspect otherwise, it’s best to investigate right away, in case your spouse is hiding assets.

Hiding assets is a form of perjury because it violates full disclosure rules in a divorce. It means that your spouse is lying to the court to try to keep certain assets out of the proceedings. This, in turn, places you at risk for an unfair settlement. If you suspect that this is happening in your divorce, you can bring it to the court’s attention. Judges do not look favorably on spouses who try to beat the system.

Common schemes for hiding assets in a divorce

There are numerous ways to start hiding assets in a divorce. In fact, some spouses search the internet for tips on how to beat the system. If you’re the one getting jilted in a hidden asset scheme, you might want to read some of those articles to get an idea of where to look when you start gathering evidence. This list shows some of the most common ways to hide assets:

  • Purchasing gift cards
  • Overpaying credit card balances or taxes
  • Delaying pay raises or bonuses at work
  • Faking a loan or repayment of a loan by asking someone to hold money
  • Asking for cash back at a point of purchase
  • Undervaluing luxury items like jewelry or artwork
  • Adding ghost employees to a payroll (as a business owner)
  • Hiding money or items in a safe deposit box
  • Stashing cash in a juvenile account

Did your spouse recently help a teenage son or daughter open a bank account? If so, as the primary account holder, a parent can deposit or withdrawal funds at any time. In a messy divorce situation where you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, this could be a red flag.

Be prepared to prove allegations

Just because your spouse takes money out of the bank without you knowing, doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she is hiding assets. Perhaps it was simply forgetfulness to not let you know. If you have a strong suspicion that your spouse is trying to hide assets, you’ll want to gather as much evidence as possible. The key to resolving such issues is being able to convince the court that a hidden asset scheme has, in fact, occurred.