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How Do Spouses Hide Assets During a Divorce?

During a divorce, both spouses must disclose all their financial assets to enable the court to make a fair property-division decision. However, some spouses may not disclose all their assets. Sometimes, that happens as a mere oversight, while in other cases, they withhold this information because they don’t want to share the property with their ex-spouses.

The situation is common in high net-worth divorces and cases where one spouse owns a business. If you suspect your soon-to-be ex-spouse is hiding some assets or income, consult skilled family lawyers in Overland Park. They can help you uncover how your spouse is trying to hide assets and also provide legal counsel on how to find them.

An example of how your spouse may try to hide assets is using the business to make it appear like they have less money than they do. For example, they can set up trusts or transfer money to someone else in the form of a “gift,” only to have it returned after the divorce is over. They may also avoid entering into lucrative business deals during the divorce.

What Types of Assets Do Divorcing Spouses Attempt to Hide?

Spouses can hide a wide range of marital assets, but divorce lawyers in Overland Park say that the most common ones include the following:

  • Real estate owned by a business
  • Cash and valuables
  • Stock certificates in paper form
  • Precious metals, which often lack a paper trail

In addition to assets, some spouses may have unreported or hidden income, especially those engaged in cash employment. Examples are lawn service providers, hairdressers, or waiters whose substantial portion of their pay comes through in cash.

How Can I Find My Spouse’s Hidden Income?

Your first step if you suspect your spouse is hiding assets is to hire skilled Overland Park divorce lawyers for legal counsel and representation. They can help you take the right legal steps to find the property while protecting your rights to equitable distribution. Here are some documents that may help you discover hidden financial accounts and property:

Income Tax Returns

Your spouse could withhold crucial financial information from you, but they could fear being untruthful to the IRS. An excellent place to find your spouse’s hidden income is by checking their income tax return.
Comparing copies of recent year’s tax returns could help you locate income you knew nothing about. Your divorce attorney in Overland Park can help track and analyze these records so you can make sense of them.

Bank Accounts

Your spouse could have withdrawn money from a bank account you are aware of to one you didn’t know existed. Get copies of bank statements, look for transactions you were not aware of, and try to track the fund’s destination. A red flag could be a money transfer to a new personal account or a friend’s account.
Your Overland Park divorce attorneys can send a written request issued by the court clerk to the bank where you suspect your spouse has a hidden account. With a proper subpoena, the court will be obligated to produce all copies associated with your spouse’s name. The court can hold the bank in contempt if it doesn’t cooperate.

Credit Card Statements

How your spouse uses their credit card could also give information about hidden money. The statements can reveal how your spouse spends money on a new person of interest or acquires assets you know nothing about. An overpayment of the account could signify that they paid for an asset that should be split with you.

Loan Applications

Loan application records can give you insights into your spouse’s hidden assets. Before lending institutions can approve a loan, they often ask for a completed application, account records, recent pay stubs, and a signed declaration of all assets and debts. Getting a copy of this loan application record can confirm your suspicions about your spouse’s hidden assets or income.

Business Records

It’s essential to pay attention to all business or investment records during divorce proceedings. Whether a business is a sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, or limited liability company, it could reveal crucial details to help uncover details about assets you never knew existed.

Your Overland family lawyers can review actual profits and losses from each enterprise, payments received through business transactions and never reported on tax returns, and any investments made. These could be indicators of funds diverted away from joint or other known accounts to acquire assets without your knowledge.

Public Records

A scrutiny of public records may reveal real estate, vehicles, or other assets that your spouse purchased behind your back. Experienced divorce attorneys in Overland Park can guide you on the places to check for this information.

Consider Hiring a Forensic Accountant

A forensic accountant is a neutral investigator who can help you discover hidden assets. Your lawyers can hire the experts, or you can engage them independently to help you prove your spouse’s hidden assets. However, you must disclose to your spouse what you’re doing to avoid clashing with the law.

A forensic accountant’s job entails reviewing your spouse’s financial records to look for inconsistencies that may indicate fraud or unexplained expenses. For example, mortgage payments for someone else without explanation could mean your spouse is hiding assets from you.

An Experienced Family Lawyer Helping You Discover Hidden Assets During Divorce

Property division is one of the thorny issues during a divorce. Marital assets should be divided equitably. If you suspect your spouse is hiding some of them to avoid splitting them with you, consult skilled divorce lawyers in Overland Park. Avoid finding the hidden assets alone, as that could be considered fraudulent.

Having a legal backup can make all the difference in your case. The family lawyers at Barnds Law LLC can evaluate your case and help you uncover your spouse’s hidden assets. We work hard to protect our clients’ rights and won’t relent until you get the most favorable outcome in your divorce case. Call us at 913-514-0909 to schedule your strategy session.

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