The Risks and Reality of Hiding Assets in A Divorce

While disagreements over the parenting of children through a divorce are usually the more emotional types of conflicts, the division of assets when a relationship breaks down is a close second.

This is more common when the couple has a greater number of assets, but it can also occur when there is a limited amount of property to divide. Hiding assets in a divorce is a form of financial fraud, and it can have a far-reaching impact on the divorce. Working with an experienced divorce attorney can help minimize the risk of the other spouse attempting to hide or otherwise try to dispose of joint assets.

Hiding Assets and Other Issues
In relationships where one spouse does the financial investing or manages the financial affairs, hiding assets may be a factor of the relationship. For example, the spouse may have a private savings account or even have purchased high value assets the other spouse does not know about.

One spouse may attempt to dispose of assets to avoid having to share them during the divorce. This could include selling off items at well below their actual value or giving away assets that are community property. Community property is any type of asset of value that was obtained during the course of the marriage, regardless of which spouse paid for the item or the name on the title.

Property that was owned by one spouse prior to the marriage and was never commingled with community property is not considered in the division of property in the divorce.

Dividing Property Fairly
Typically, an economic model of property division is seen as the most objective way to divide assets. The assets can be valuated, and the lawyers work to negotiate a fair settlement, which may not be a 50/50 split depending on the specific financial situation of both parties to the divorce.

When large assets are included, specifically homes, land, or high-value items or collections, it may be practical to have one spouse buy out the interest of the other spouse and retain possession of the asset. This can become more complicated if the assets are increasing in price, and the spouse wants a payment to reflect the future potential value of the asset and not the current market value. In these cases, economists and appraisers may be required to provide an objective amount as a starting point for negotiation.

Contact Keller Legal Services for experienced divorce attorney to help you to calculate the fair alimony.

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