In a divorce, one thing both parties are generally incredibly concerned about is what will happen with the various assets that they have. This is understandable given that divorce property divisions have the potential to significantly impact what a person’s financial position will be coming out of a divorce. There are many legitimate ways within the legal system that individuals who are getting divorced can utilize to help protect their interests and to fight for their fair share in a property division.
Unfortunately, for some individuals, just getting a fair share isn’t enough, and they don’t confine themselves to working within the legal system when it comes to a divorce, but rather cross the line and engage in wrongdoing to try to better themselves financially. For example, some spouses attempt to hide assets during a divorce to keep the assets out of property division.
Asset hiding in a divorce is unacceptable and illegal. Unfortunately, it may also be rather alarmingly common. Some estimates have put the number of divorces in which asset hiding is attempted by one of the parties at one in five. Asset hiding can take many different forms, including: an actual physical hiding of assets, a transfer of assets into more difficult-to-track financial devices and transfers of assets to other parties under the guise of being a gift or a repayment of a debt. For more information on the various forms asset hiding can take, see our article, “Even During Divorce, Stealing is Illegal in Texas.”
Investigations into financial matters may be able to help uncover attempts at asset hiding in a divorce. Such investigations can include reviews of business records, loan applications, income tax returns and other types of financial records. Attorneys can help divorcing individuals who suspect that their ex-spouse may be hiding assets conduct such investigations. If an ex-spouse is found to have engaged in asset hiding, sanctions may be able to be sought against the ex-spouse.
Wrongdoing has no place in the divorce process and one hopes that all parties in a divorce, regardless of how contentious it gets, stick to fair conduct.