Previously, we began looking at the topic of hiding assets in divorce. As we noted, hiding assets can be an issue in the negotiation of prenuptial agreements, as well as in the division of assets in divorce. When asset-hiding takes place in the context of prenuptial agreement negotiations, it can result in the agreement being thrown out in divorce. This, of course, requires the spouse who was defrauded to prove that such fraud occurred.
Working with an experienced attorney is, of course, essential when dealing with asset-hiding. The aim of representation on this issue is–to the extent possible–to prevent asset-hiding from occurring, and to work to track down assets that are hidden either before or after divorce.
The latter can be particularly difficult, because asset-hiding can take place months or years before a divorce case is filed and there are a variety of ways to hide assets. In addition to offshoring wealth, which we mentioned in our last post, individuals can transfer assets to separate accounts or to friends or family, dump money into life insurance policies, overpay the IRS, delay the receipt of payments until after divorce, lend money to friends or family, create fake expenses, and so on.
For those who suspect their spouse or fiancé may be hiding assets from them, or being less than honest about full disclosure, working with an attorney who has experience in this area can help ensure that one has a fighting chance.
There are a number of strategies an attorney can use to discover hidden assets. In our next post, we’ll look briefly at some of them.