How A Spouse May Try To Hide Assets
One of the most significant issues that a couple must determine during a Tennessee divorce is the division of marital assets. There are times when a spouse may try to hide assets in order to walk away from the marriage with more than they are entitled to. Understanding how a person might try and hide property can help identify whether this is happening in your case, and an experienced divorce attorney can also help. At Fort, Holloway, & Rogers our knowledgeable Franklin estate planning lawyers can help determine whether your spouse is trying to hide assets in your divorce. To learn more, call or contact our office to schedule a consultation of your case.
“Gifts” to Family and Friends
One common method of hiding assets is by making “gifts” to family and friends. A spouse may gift money or personal property to someone that they know, which is never truly intended as a gift. The real reason behind the gift is for that person to hold the assets until the divorce is settled and then return the property to that former spouse. Depending on how long a spouse was planning a divorce, these gifts may start weeks or even months before official paperwork is filed with the court.
Hiding Assets in a Business
Another common method of hiding assets is by hiding them in a business. If a spouse owns a small business they may undervalue their company in order to appear as though they have less than they actually do or hold off on a lucrative deal until the divorce is finalized. Some even pay salaries to employees who do not exist in order to devalue their assets. They may also claim that certain marital property is separate business property, even if that is not actually the case.
Placing Assets in Trust
This move is similar to gifting property to family and friends. A spouse may establish a trust with beneficiaries who never intend to use the trust. The spouse places money and assets in the trust under the guise of giving them to the beneficiaries, but upon the finalization of the divorce the trust is dissolved and the assets are given back to the former spouse.
Finance has grown increasingly complex over the last couple of decades with the advent of online banking, which makes it easier for spouses to transfer their assets to different accounts or institutions at the click of a button. Some spouses set up accounts in a child or family member’s name in order to avoid detection and place assets in that account for after the divorce. Others transfer assets to accounts that are held in places where determining the account holder is difficult, such as the Cayman Islands or Switzerland.
Talk to Our Office
Do you have more questions about how a spouse may try to hide assets in your divorce? Call the office or contact Fort, Holloway, & Rogers today to schedule a consultation of your divorce case now.