High-asset divorces frequently come with significant complications. The more property you have in your marital estate, the more motivation you have to fight with your ex. Some people aren’t happy with negotiating with their ex or even litigating in the family courts. They want to limit what their spouse will receive in the divorce.
When one spouse hides assets, the other may not know to claim that property in the divorce. More importantly, the courts won’t know that they may need to divide those assets. Locating hidden property is crucial if you hope to secure a fair outcome to property division proceedings in a high-asset divorce.
What are some of the places that people hide property as they prepare for divorce?
In plain sight
One of these sneakiest ways for people to hide assets is to simply not report valuable property that is right in the marital home.
Maybe your spouse belongs to one of those wardrobe subscription services, and they spend hundreds of dollars a month on their professional attire. Maybe they have slowly accumulated a collection of all of the modern video game platforms and dozens of games and accessories for each.
Your spouse might not include their personal possessions purchased with marital property on your inventory of assets, or they might drastically undervalue those items.
In a hidden account
Maybe your spouse has recently made unusually frequent cash withdrawals from your shared checking account. Maybe their paycheck seems smaller when you receive their direct deposit.
They may have set up an automatic transfer to another account, thus diverting marital income from your shared checking account. When spouses intentionally hide financial resources from one another, it may take the support of a forensic accountant or similar specialist to track down and value those assets.
In a storage unit or apartments
You probably couldn’t create a comprehensive list of your most valuable possessions. From the furniture that you own to the works of fine art in your home, you may need to walk through your space to remember exactly what you currently own.
Your spouse may take advantage of that by slowly removing some of your most valuable shared possessions. They might move them to a physical storage unit or to an apartment or they plan to live. They could even give those items to friends or family members to store to make it harder for you to locate those assets.
Only by carefully reviewing your finances and checking for hidden assets can you ensure an appropriate and fair outcome in your upcoming property division proceedings for a high-asset California divorce.