Are you going through a divorce? Do you suspect that your spouse may be hiding assets to get more than their fair share? You are not alone. In fact, research suggests that many Americans are guilty of hiding money from their spouses during the marriage. It stands to reason that they might continue hiding this money in divorce. Unfortunately, those hidden assets can leave one party disadvantaged, not just immediately after the divorce, but perhaps, for years to come. Learn how to minimize your risk and employ the following strategies and resources in your divorce case.
How Big is the Problem?
In 2011, the National Endowment examined the rate of financial infidelity (the hiding of assets or accounts) among couples with joint assets to determine just how common asset hiding was. The rate during that year fell at about 31 percent of all people surveyed. The study authors then repeated the analysis in 2014 and found that the rate of financial infidelity had risen to one-third of couples with joint assets. In other words, hidden assets are not just a major issue in America; they are a continuing and growing problem. Unfortunately, that can create a slew of issues in divorce – especially if the financially unfaithful spouse continues to hide marital funds.
Hidden Assets and Divorce
No one wants to believe that their spouse has been financially unfaithful, but realization that something is “off” is often the first step to preventing the devastating impact that hidden assets can have on a disadvantaged spouse (i.e. a decrease of personal net worth and one-sided, divorce-induced poverty). Unfortunately, there are usually many more steps to follow.
Hidden assets can be difficult to track down, and are often cloaked in a sticky web of false identities, ghost assets, and even ghost owners or investors. Untangling this web can be an arduous task, to say the least, but the biggest risk is if the hiding spouse learns that someone is on their trail. Without notice, they could attempt to move or dissipate the funds before anyone finds them. In the worst of cases, the assets vanish as though they never even existed.
Tracking Down Hidden Assets
Often, it is the disadvantaged spouse that realizes something is wrong. Unfortunately, they do not always have the skills or resources needed to effectively track down the assets on their own. Instead, they may need the assistance of a forensic accountant, an attorney, and other professionals within the divorce and financial industries.
Knowledgeable and experienced, Abear Law Offices is an ally and advocate that you can trust. We understand the serious implications of hidden assets in divorce and we will fight to protect your financial future. Schedule your consultation with our Wheaton, IL divorce lawyer to learn how we can assist with your case. Call 630-904-3033 today.