If you are currently going through a Georgia divorce, or even if you believe that your spouse is considering divorce, there is a probability that your spouse is hiding marital assets that could significantly influence the outcome. In the event of these situations, it is essential to turn to the services of a knowledgeable Georgia divorce attorney who is familiar with the various ways in which individuals fail to disclose accounts or assets on financial affidavits. The following is some essential information about how spouses my hide assets before or during a divorce.
Manners in Which Spouses Hide Marital Assets
There are some common ways to determine that a spouse is attempting to hide marital assets, which include the following:
- Create fake debt, which the spouse knows will result in returned money after the divorce.
- Defer employment assets until after the individual’s divorce is finalized.
- Establish accounts in the name of a third party in order to hide income and assets from distribution.
- Overpaying taxes or creditors, which can entitle a spouse to a refund that will come after divorce.
- Purchasing undervalued or overlooked items, which could easily be worth much more than one anticipates.
- Stashing cash in a safe deposit box or secured location where a spouse keeps large amounts of cash.
- Transfer assets to a trusted third party in an attempt to shield these assets from division.
- Underreporting income on tax returns, which can make the existence of finances much harder to prove.
Reviewing Tax Schedules
Seeking the expertise of a forensic account or other experts often becomes necessary when a spouse is hiding assets, but reviewing tax returns is also an essential step in determining if a spouse is hiding assets in the first place. Spouses should make sure to review the following aspects of income taxes:
- Schedule B: This aspect of taxes requires taxpayers to list the names of brokerage companies, banks, and friends in addition to answering questions about the existence of banks and financial accounts in foreign countries or foreign trust transactions.
- Schedule D: Schedule D requires individuals to disclose capital gains and losses from the sale of fund shares, individual stocks, and other assets. If one spouse reports capital gains or loses in Schedule D, this suggests that that spouse once owned the assets that were sold and may likely own more.
- Schedule E: This aspect of taxes requires individuals to disclose income and/or losses from rental real estate, royalties, partnerships, and S corporations, and trusts, and estates.
The Assistance of a Forensic Accountant
In many situations in which a spouse is hiding funds, it becomes essential to retain the services of a forensic accountant. A forensic accountant performs a variety of functions including analyzing bank accounts, financial records, liabilities, and spending habits of the married couple. This analysis is often used to determine whether one of the spouses is attempting to conceal assets. There are a number of reasons why you might consider consulting with a forensic accountant to assist you in the divorce process. It is often essential in these situations to seek the advice of a skilled attorney like the lawyers at Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C. who know how to best assess these types of situations. Consider contacting our law firm online or calling the firm at 678-736-7700 in order to initiate a consultation.