Common Asset Concealment Strategies to Watch For
An unfortunately common issue that can arise during the divorce process is one spouse attempting to conceal assets from the other in an attempt to come away with a more favorable financial situation. This is illegal—both spouses are required to fully disclose their finances and assets to allow for a more equitable asset distribution process.
Here are just a few of the common asset concealment strategies used by people going through a divorce that you and your legal team should watch for:
- Deferred income: A spouse may attempt to defer a portion of their income until after the divorce. Evidence will be in letters or notes, or discrepancies with past earnings.
- Bonuses: If you know your spouse receives bonuses, look for any deals in which partial bonuses were paid and the other portion was placed into separate accounts for that employee’s benefit.
- Vacation pay: If you know your spouse gets vacation pay and they haven’t used it all for that year, the vacation pay that’s left over should be included in the divorce. The same goes for compensation for sick or personal days.
- Stock options: If your spouse exercised stock options as an employee, there may be assets there that you might not be aware of.
- Loans: Spouses attempting to conceal assets will often “loan” money to friends or family members in the leadup to the divorce. The loan is almost certainly illegitimate, and meant to make them look like they have less money than they actually do during the divorce process, only for them to have it paid back later on.
- Perks: Various perks of employment with a company might have significant value. You should carefully investigate those perks and see if there is any cash value your spouse is being less than forthcoming about.
Interested in learning more about asset concealment and how you can protect yourself in the divorce process? Contact an experienced attorney at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia LLP for more information.