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High-asset divorce carries the risk of someone hiding assets

Posted on in Divorce

Divorce is expensive in an of itself and can have long-lasting financial implications for the spouses. Not only will the divorcing spouses have to pay court costs, but they will generally have to divide their resources as a part of the process.

Keeping costs low is a priority for some couples, while securing a fair and reasonable outcome is of the utmost importance to others. The higher your family's overall assets and the greater the value of your marital estate, the more important accuracy and fairness become.

When you have significant, valuable assets, that wealth can be an adequate motive for your spouse to try to hide assets from you in the hope that the courts won't force them to share the value of those assets with you.

Where do people hide assets during a divorce?

Spouses will have different ways to hide assets. The less engaged you have been in the process of managing your household wealth, the easier it will be for your spouse to hide resources and assets from you.

Sometimes, a spouse who earns significant income could take some of that money before it ever reaches a joint account, possibly by making a cash withdrawal or setting up an automatic disbursement to an account that their spouse doesn't know about. If they make a cash withdrawal, they might put that money in a safe, a storage unit or a deposit box at a bank. In either case, the amount could be thousands of dollars.

Some people hide assets by making purchases with marital assets that they can later convert back to liquid capital. Art, collectibles and durable goods are all possible ways for a spouse to hide marital assets if they think you won't have an interest in the specific item. Getting a professional valuation of assets, ranging from the rugs in your office to the art on your walls, can give you a better idea of where your spouse could have hidden value that you deserve a share of in the divorce.

The right help will give you a better start after divorce

It may seem like taking the high road to just ignore a spouse's attempt to manipulate the divorce outcome by hiding assets for their personal gain. However, every dollar in value that they hide from you is money that could help set you up for a better future after the divorce.

Working with the right professionals, from an attorney to advise you to property appraisers and even a forensic accountant, can help ensure that the outcome of your divorce is as fair as possible.

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