When divorce occurs, you may count property and asset division as one of your main concerns, but what can you do when you believe your ex-spouse is hiding money and property? CNBC recently reported one case where a billionaire set up trusts to hide property, income and more from his wife once their decades-long marriage ended.
Remaining aware of possible hidden assets, as well as how they are hidden, may help ensure that you are treated fairly during your divorce.
Common hiding strategies
There are many strategies your ex-spouse might use to hide assets, some legal and some not. Your ex might transfer the ownership of property, such as real estate or vehicles, to a third party so he or she no longer legally owns it. As your divorce proceeds, your ex might take several actions to hide assets, including:
- Hiding property with the help of friends or family
- Claiming theft of the property
- Denying ownership of the property
If you believe your spouse is actively hiding assets so he or she does not lose them in the divorce, you can hire a tax attorney to delve into your past returns to prove they exist.
Certain types of assets are often difficult to hide completely, and written documentation may help you prove they exist. Vehicle titles, property deeds and certain itemized deductions on your past tax returns can help you verify that your spouse is withholding these assets from your divorce decree.
There are a variety of laws your ex might use to hide or exclude you from accessing assets during a divorce. Proving their existence early on in the proceedings may protect you from financial loss.