Divorce is a complex and unpleasant process that can be made substantially worse when one partner attempts to hide marital property from the other. Wishing to avoid losses during the division of marital property, one spouse may attempt to conceal income and assets in an effort to come out on top after the divorce is finalized.
In addition to being illegal and carrying substantial penalties, hiding, concealing, or otherwise dissembling about marital property can backfire because it so often makes the divorce process longer and costlier. Here are four signs that your spouse may be attempting to hide marital property in your divorce.
Sudden Financial Secrecy
A spouse who is attempting to hide income or other assets may suddenly divert their personal or business income from a shared marital account into a separate, private account. They may no longer be paying bills on time, or fail to disclose which bills have been paid and which have not. If you ask legitimate questions about shared finances, they may become hostile and withdrawn. If these behaviors are uncharacteristic for your spouse, he or she may be attempting to hide their true income.
Reporting Unusual Business Losses
One way spouses commonly hide income is by overreporting business losses in an attempt to devalue their business for divorce assessment purposes. Spouses may claim to sell assets at a loss, but in reality, have only temporarily “sold” them to friends or business partners with the intent to buy them back after the divorce. If your spouse’s business was doing well and suddenly seems to be struggling financially, this should raise some red flags.
This is especially true for spouses who are self-employed and prepay anticipated taxes in stages throughout the year. Because self-employed people often pay quarterly taxes so they do not owe money after filing their annual taxes, divorcing spouses may deliberately overpay in anticipation of getting a substantial refund come tax time after - they hope - the divorce is over.
Lavish Gifts and Expenses
A spouse who is attempting to hide income may begin “gifting” money to family members and friends in an uncharacteristic spurt of generosity. However, this may simply be an attempt to hide cash reserves and other liquid assets until the divorce is over. If your spouse seems to be giving away substantial amounts of money or making sudden, expensive purchases, they may be trying to hide assets.
Talk to a Plano, TX Hidden Assets Attorney
If you believe your spouse may be hiding marital property, talk to Mr. Brian Bagley at Law Office of Brian Bagley. Mr. Bagley will aggressively represent your interests and assist you in hiring any outside experts that may be necessary to evaluate your financial situation. Make sure you get the portion of your marital property to which you are entitled - speak with an experienced Collin County divorce attorney today. Call our office at (972) 843-7158 to schedule your free initial consultation.