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Divorce and hidden assets

For anyone who is planning or going through a divorce, finances are often a chief concern. Most divorcees want and expect to maintain the same standard of living they enjoyed while married. As fears about how assets will be divided and how those decisions may adversely impact one’s financial position and security mount, some husbands and wives will go to great lengths to hide assets from a soon-to-be ex-spouse.

A January 2015 poll by the National Endowment for Financial Education revealed that a whopping one-third of all spouses admit to hiding purchases and/or assets from a spouse. Given this likely conservative estimate, it's safe to assume that this figure is even higher among divorcing spouses. For husbands and wives who suspect that a spouse is hiding assets, it's important to address those concerns with a divorce attorney who can work to uncover hidden assets and ensure an individual obtains his or her fair share of marital assets in a divorce settlement.

While some methods for hiding assets, like establishing and transferring money into a separate bank account, are fairly obvious and easy to discover, others are much more difficult. For example, a husband or wife who earns commissions through a job may request that an employer delay payment for tax or some other seemingly legitimate reasons. Along those same lines, a spouse may do the same with regard to payments related to a job promotion or bonus.

If a husband or wife owns a business, creating fake business expenditures or delaying invoices are both fairly easy and effective ways to hide assets. In an effort to squirrel away income, a spouse may add friends or family members to a business' payroll or create fake expenses. Additionally, a spouse could choose to voluntarily delay invoicing clients until a divorce settlement is finalized.

Unfortunately, divorce can bring out the worst in some individuals. For anyone who suspects that a spouse is not being truthful about financial matters, it’s important to have a strong legal advocate on one’s side.

Source: Daily Finance, "10 Easy Ways to Hide Assets From Your Spouse," Robert Pagliarini, March 23, 2015

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