Both spouses are expected to fully disclose their income sources and available assets in the early stages of divorce. On this form, a financial disclosure, both parties are swearing under oath that they are providing truthful and accurate information. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a person to attempt to hide assets from a spouse out of fear that he or she will have something taken away in the divorce. Regardless of your reasons for hiding assets, and no matter how often you have been assured that you will not get caught, hiding assets is not worth the risk.
Common Methods of Concealing Assets
Immediately before getting divorced, or right after the paperwork is filed, you might be tempted to start hiding assets. A few methods commonly used for concealing assets include:
- Giving money and property away to people you trust;
- Selling assets at a significantly lower amount than they are worth;
- Using secret accounts or safe deposit boxes to hide cash and other valuable assets;
- Converting wealth into cryptocurrency that makes it harder to find out their exact worth.
There are other methods that some try to use to hide assets and the reason they are considered “common” is because most divorce attorneys at judges have encountered them before.
No matter how clever you think your method for hiding cash is during a divorce is, chances are that someone else thought of it first, tried it, and was caught. It is possible that you will trick your spouse who trusts you or is unaware of some of the more sophisticated methods of asset hiding, but you will have a harder time tricking your spouse’s attorney. Divorce attorneys often use forensic accountants to check financial disclosures to make sure everything adds up. As soon as a discrepancy is discovered, your attorney will be asked questions about your finances that will soon spiral into a cycle of discovery that ultimately exposes your attempt to hide assets.
Once your scheme is uncovered, expect to lose all credibility in court. For the remainder of your divorce, you will be viewed as the person who tried to cheat your spouse out of money. Not only will you have to deal with the embarrassment of having your case heard in front of a judge who has branded you a liar, you may also face numerous penalties for lying under oath. In addition to receiving a much smaller share of marital assets than you normally would (or nothing at all), other aspects of your case such as child custody could be negatively affected.
Have Faith in Your Attorney
Instead of giving in to the temptation of hiding marital assets, have faith in your divorce attorney. An attorney who is able to fight for a fair division of property during a divorce has a much better chance of getting you a fair settlement than you have of hiding assets. The lawyers at Vayman & Teitelbaum know how stressful the idea of losing the assets you worked so hard to obtain is. For that reason, we provide you the aggressive representation you need to protect your rights. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at one of our Atlanta locations so that we can begin discussing your unique situation.