5 Ways Your Spouse May Conceal Assets to Get a Better Settlement

Whether you’re preparing for a potential divorce, or you’re already going through the legal processes, you need to make sure everything is being done correctly and honestly. Unfortunately, some spouses attempt to conceal assets so that they can get a better settlement in the divorce. If assets are successfully hidden, the other spouse may end up having to pay less in spousal or child support or may be able to demand higher payments from you.

Understanding some of the most common ways that people have attempted to hide assets from their spouse and the courts can help you shine a light on their deception and ensure a fair settlement in the end.

Putting Assets in Another’s Name

Taking certain assets and putting them into the name of a friend or family member is likely the most common way assets are hidden. Your spouse may, for example, sign the title of a vehicle over to their sibling so that they don’t have to list it in court documents. This can be done with virtually any type of asset, and in many cases is unacceptable to the courts. Finding out that this was done, and proving that your spouse did it without your consent in order to manipulate the courts, is very important for ensuring an equitable settlement.

Deferring Commissions, Bonuses, or Overtime Payments

If your spouse works in a job where they get commissions, bonuses, or overtime, it may be possible for them to defer these types of payments. If they can defer the payments until after the divorce is finalized, they will be able to keep the full amount rather than having it split up as part of the divorce. This is more common when working with a small or family owned company.

Increasing IRS Deductions

In situations where both spouses are working, each individual’s tax returns are typically going to be their own after the divorce is finalized. If a spouse reduces their deductions with their employer, more money will be paid into the IRS throughout the year so they can then get more back with their tax return. In some cases, this can be an effective way to hide thousands of dollars during a divorce.

Hiring Fake Employees

If your spouse owns a business, they can hide a significant amount of money by “hiring” a friend or family member. They will pay that individual a set amount each pay period, even though they don’t actually come in and work. The individual will then give the money back to them in cash. Other than any taxes or other expenses that need to be paid, this can end up concealing tens of thousands of dollars from a divorce proceeding.

Physically Hiding Cash

The easiest way to hide assets is to actually take cash and physically hide it. Taking out an extra $20 (or more) each time the spouse goes to the store or the bank, for example, and hiding it at a friend’s house, a closet, a safe-deposit box, or other location can really add up to a lot of money. This is an especially popular way to hide assets when one of the spouses knows that they will want a divorce, but they don’t file right away.

Get the Help You Need

Hiding assets from the courts before, and during, a divorce can be a very complicated matter. In addition to finding the money, it is also necessary to be able to prove that your spouse was intending to keep these assets from the courts. While sometimes difficult, it is certainly not impossible as long as you have the right people helping you through the process. Contact The Law Office of Arnold, Wadsworth & Coggins to review your specific situation and take steps to ensure your divorce settlement is fair and equitable.

Written by Arnold Wadsworth Coggins

Arnold, Wadsworth & Coggins Attorneys is a premier Utah law firm serving the Wasatch Front in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, criminal law, and civil litigation. Our attorneys provide clients with exceptional legal representation and personal attention. With over 35 years of trial practice and litigation experience, we bring big firm expertise at affordable rates