The division of marital assets is one of the most contentious topics to come up during a divorce. This is especially true if you have significant assets or own a business. You and your spouse must fully and honestly disclose your assets to the court, so they can be divided fairly. However, what if your spouse is not being truly honest and is attempting to come across as having much less money than he or she has? You and other Florida residents going through a divorce may worry that you will end up with an unfair division of property or less alimony and child support than you should be getting.
The fact that it is a crime to knowingly conceal assets does not deter many people from trying it. The following points illustrate some of the common ways in which your spouse might try to hide assets from you and the court:
- Drain the bank account and transfer the funds to a separate account you do not know about
- Get cash back when making regular purchases on a debit card, such as while grocery shopping, and hide the money
- Have a friend hold onto the assets until the divorce is final, which may technically not be marital property if the friend “owns” the assets, even temporarily
- Delay accepting a raise or promotion at work until the divorce is final, as well as delaying receipt of a commission or bonus
- Check the option to save this year’s tax refund for next year’s tax and receive a larger tax return, which you will not have access to after the divorce
- Charge vacations and expensive items to the company’s account instead of his or her personal account
If you worry that your spouse might be using one of the above tactics or another method to conceal assets, you might consider hiring a divorce financial adviser, forensic accountant or attorney with experience in high-asset divorces. By staying one step ahead of your spouse, you may avoid getting shorted what the law entitles you to during your divorce.