Unfortunately, it is common to hear that a spouse has been hiding assets when you are going through a divorce. You may know somebody that it has happened to and wonder what penalties a spouse could face when they do this. Spouses tend to do this because they think that it is easy to get away with it and because they want to benefit financially for themselves instead of for the benefit of their spouse during this difficult time. However, if you believe that your spouse is hiding assets, there are some things you can do.
Getting to the Bottom of It
Your spouse may not already know it, but they may not only owe you on a civil level if they have hidden assets, but also on a criminal level. If this is discovered, it is very possible that your spouse will have to pay for your investigation bills, bills related to your divorce hearing, as well as lose out on assets if the courts decide to reward you more. They could also face criminal penalties like fines and jail time depending on if it is a felony or a misdemeanor.
Here are some things to look for when you are a spouse searching for hidden assets in your divorce:
Antiques: Your spouse might buy certain antiques or artwork as a way to make it seem like the money was never there, and underreport what these assets are actually worth, thinking you and others will not investigate to find out. If your spouse has recently made a purchase that stands out to you, it may be worth investigating.
Raises: If there is a bonus at work before the divorce, it becomes part of the marital estate and could legally be divided between you and them.
Unreported Income: Is your spouse part of a cash enterprise? They might be pocketing the cash and you wouldn’t even know about it. Perhaps you feel like your spouse always had extra money even though your income didn’t support it, and now you have questions.
Investments Without Interest: Perhaps your spouse has invested into bonds that have no interest and refuse to report it on income tax returns. If they are not reported, how do you know about them? How can you prove they exist?
As you can see, there are many in-depth ways that a spouse can hide the fact that they have more income and assets than you may have known about. This is when the secrets start to come out, and we want to help you through this time. Let us help you at the Law Office of Soheila Azizi & Associates. Call us today at 909-484-9992.