Concealing assets during the property division part of divorce is not only unethical, it’s also illegal and, sadly, it happens all too often.
With how complex some couple’s financial portfolios are — incomes, houses, vacation properties, stocks, pensions, businesses and more — it’s not surprising that there are many ways assets can be shuffled into hiding. Your ex-spouse may attempt to take advantage of your situation and keep money or other assets for themselves. If you suspect your ex of this kind of foul play, you can and probably should hire a forensic accountant to follow the paper trail and uncover your ex’s scheme.
You should leave the investigating to the professionals, otherwise you may end up in hot water legally for all your snooping. That said, it will still help if you have an understanding of some of the ways your ex may be hiding the money, such as the following unethical practices:
- Hiding money in a secret safe or safe deposit box
- Buying items that could be overlooked or undervalued, like art or antiques
- Transferring stock to business partners or others who will give it back after the divorce
- Underreporting their income for taxes
- Overpaying the Internal Revenue Service to get a refund after the divorce
- Deferring or postponing their income and any commissions or bonuses
Your ex is required to disclose all their financial information and property, so they can be assessed and distributed properly in the divorce. If they are officially caught hiding assets, the court may make them pay you your fair share of the assets.
Do you need legal help?
If you suspect your ex-spouse may be using underhanded tactics in the divorce, it’s important you understand and protect your rights. Talk to an experienced and skilled Michigan divorce attorney who can fight for you in the property division and see that you get the fairest treatment possible under the law.