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What should you know about hidden assets in divorce?

People who are going through a divorce have to split up the property they've amassed during the marriage. This might seem like a straightforward process, but there are instances in which one person tries to hide assets from the other in an effort to walk away with a better deal.

Hidden assets can alter the property division process and turn into an unfair situation. Because of this, it's imperative that anyone who has reason to believe their ex is hiding something take the time to find out what's going on.

How do people conceal assets?

There are four primary ways that people might conceal assets during a divorce. Understanding these methods might help you to discover if your ex is hiding things.

  • Transferring the assets to a third party. This commonly happens when they have someone they trust to transfer the assets back to them.
  • Denying that the assets exist. They may claim that they simply don't have any assets outside of what they listed on the forms related to the divorce.
  • Claiming false debts. Your ex may claim false debts, which isn't necessarily hiding assets; however, those false debts can give them the chance to have to pay less debt if they say they will take care of those false ones since there really isn't anyone to pay.
  • Saying the assets were lost. It isn't often that a real asset can be lost, but they might claim that they misplaced or can't find smaller assets like jewelry. Police reports and similar proof of the loss might be necessary.

How can you find hidden assets?

There are many options for finding hidden assets. You can hire a forensic accountant to go through the records and see if they can unearth any evidence of hidden assets. You can also scrutinize records, such as tax returns and public records to determine if there are any assets that your ex owns that aren't being claimed in the divorce process.

Just remember, trying to conceal assets during a divorce is against the law. You should never try to do this because the consequences can be severe. If you think that your ex is doing this, alert your attorney and work with them to determine what's going on.

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Bull & Reinhardt, PLLC
160 E. Chestnut Street
Asheville, NC 28801

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