Family Law Specialist Certified By The State Bar Of California

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Hiding assets in anticipation of a high-asset divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2023 | DIVORCE - High-Asset Divorce

Did you know that both spouses are required to disclose all their financial assets as part of the divorce process? Nevertheless, some spouses may not fully disclose all of their assets. In fact, it’s quite common for people to hide assets in anticipation of a high-asset divorce.

While in some cases concealed assets are merely an oversight, other times, a spouse may intentionally hide specific assets so the spouse they’re divorcing doesn’t receive a share. That’s why it’s crucial to keep an eye out for telltale signs that might indicate that your soon-to-be ex is trying to offer you the short end of the stick if you’re going through a divorce.

Unexplained financial discrepancies

One of the early indicators that your spouse might be hiding assets is unexplained financial irregularities. Undisclosed accounts, unusual transactions or sudden changes in spending patterns can be red flags that necessitate closer scrutiny.

For example, hiding assets offshore is a common tactic in high-asset divorces. Spouses may transfer funds to accounts in areas with strict financial privacy laws, making it challenging to trace and evaluate these assets accurately.

Engage forensic accountants and financial experts to help conduct a meticulous examination of financial records if necessary.

Undervaluing assets

High-asset divorces often involve intricate business holdings. If your spouse owns or has a stake in businesses, be vigilant about examining its financial records. Creative accounting practices may be employed to conceal assets.

Additionally, manipulating the valuation of assets is one strategy that can be employed. Real estate, investments or valuable collections may be intentionally undervalued, skewing the overall assessment of the marital estate.

By recognizing the red flags that could indicate your spouse might be concealing assets, you can take necessary action to help ensure you don’t receive the short end of the stick in your divorce settlement. Remember, knowledge is power during a high-asset divorce, and staying informed is your best defense against the potential concealment of assets.