Spouses coming up with new ways to hide assets in divorce
Hiding assets is illegal, but still far too common during divorce
Hidden assets are one of the most common problems that occur in divorce cases, according to Forbes. Although hiding assets is illegal and can backfire in huge ways for offenders, many people continue to believe they can deceive their ex-spouse and the court in order to get a more favorable divorce settlement. While there are some common clues that a former partner may be hiding assets, technology is also giving deceptive ex-spouses new tools to hide assets.
Bitcoins hard to track
As Daily Finance recently reported, one of the newest ways of hiding assets is through Bitcoin, a virtual currency that exists only online and is largely unregulated by governments and traditional financial institutions. While reports of spouses hiding assets through Bitcoin are so far rare, experts say the virtual currency presents an ideal opportunity for deceptive ex-spouses.
Bitcoins allow their owners to remain completely anonymous and the currency can be difficult to track, especially if it is being held overseas. An ex-spouse that runs a business that accepts Bitcoins would also have the perfect opportunity to hide assets through the currency without raising suspicion in an ex-spouse.
Finding hidden assets
Fortunately, most cases of hidden assets still rely on more traditional approaches that are easier to catch. While proving assets are being hidden will require the assistance of a family law attorney and accountant, if a person notices his or her soon-to-be-ex-spouse behaving differently, especially when it comes to financial matters, then that could be a clue of deceptive financial practices. For example, financial programs and documents mysteriously disappearing from a computer or passwords to accounts being suddenly changed could be important clues.
Small businesses are also often used as a way of hiding assets. If an ex-spouse suddenly reports that his or her business is experiencing a big jump in expenses, then that is a common indicator that the business is being used to hide what are, in fact, personal expenses. Ex-spouses who also suddenly make frequent “business trips” to unusual places, especially countries with a reputation for secretive banking laws, may also be trying to remove marital property from the country and thus from the eyes of the court.
Uncovering hidden assets
Hiding assets is illegal, but it is also plain wrong since it denies people and their children from receiving the fair settlement they deserve following a divorce. Uncovering hidden assets is not easy and will require the assistance of an experienced family law attorney. With expert legal advice, people who suspect their former partner is hiding assets, or who have any other family law concern, will have the help they need to uncover the truth and ensure they are treated fairly throughout the divorce process.