In a high-asset divorce, one of the potential issues you may face is if your spouse decides to hide assets. They do this because they don't want to split those assets with you, and they may think that you don't know enough about the family finances to even notice what you're missing. Hiding assets may be illegal, but it does happen.
Fortunately, the ways that people do this are often very predictable. A few tactics that tend to show up the most include:
- Giving assets to close friends or family members. This is just a temporary transfer of ownership, as both people understand that they'll just "give" the assets back after the divorce is done.
- Hiding away cash that was never recorded anywhere. Some people make repeated small cash withdrawals every time they go shopping, for instance, and start stashing that money away on the side, or they take cash as payment at work.
- Falsifying accounting records to make it look like cash that was taken out of the accounts was never really there at all.
- Working with someone else to change when they get paid and "manipulate the timing" of this income. For instance, if your spouse is about to close a big sale and make millions, he or she may try to put off payment until after the divorce, even though the deal is finalized already. They're just trying to reduce their income until after the divorce.
If you think that your spouse is doing one of these things, or a combination of them, it is very important for you to understand all of the legal steps that you can take.