Property division can be a contentious and emotionally-charged process in any divorce. However, the division of marital assets can be particularly stressful in Little Rock high net worth divorces, especially when one spouse has brought in the majority of the family’s income.
In some cases, that spouse will try to hide income or assets in an attempt to prevent the other spouse from receiving his or her fair share of marital property or post-divorce spousal support.
Hiding assets isn’t just unethical – it’s also illegal. Still, it comes up in complex property division cases more often than many would expect.
If you think that your spouse might be hiding assets, be vigilant and talk to a Little Rock divorce attorney as soon as possible. Below are some common strategies used to hide assets in anticipation of divorce:
- Making expensive, but unnoticeable purchases: Often, deceptive spouses will invest money into easily-overlooked luxury items like antiques, carpets, art or rare coins. Many will store these items in their offices, where they are less likely to be noticed.
- Hiding assets in cash: It could be in a safe deposit box, or in the proverbial shoebox under the bed. Take notice if your spouse seems to be using more cash than usual.
- Underreporting income: Some spouses will purposefully file misleading tax returns or financial statements. Others will defer income or hold off on signing new contracts until the divorce is finalized.
- Creating false debt: It is not uncommon for divorcing spouses to make substantial loans to friends and family with the understanding that the money will be paid back after the divorce. In the meantime, though, the assets stay off the books, making it difficult to use them in property division calculations.
- Creating new accounts: Some will use a child’s Social Security number to set up a custodial account, while others might use their boyfriend/girlfriend’s. Since the account is not linked to the spouse’s Social Security number, it will be harder to track down.
These are just a few of the tricks that spouses use to hide assets during an Arkansas high net worth divorce. If you suspect your spouse is being dishonest in your divorce proceedings, be sure to raise the issue with your attorney right away.
Source: Forbes, “Divorcing Women: Here’s Where Husbands Typically Hide Assets,” Jeff Landers, March 14, 2012.