When your marriage is ending, whether it’s been 12 years or 12 months, in Maryland you have the right to an equitable division of assets that allows you to move forward with your life. In a perfect world, every couple would be able to divorce without any contention or disagreement during the process. However, we all understand that, in many cases, this simply isn’t how it works in real life.
Fortunately, some spouses can amicably communicate on most issues during a divorce, whether it is for their own best interests or for the interests of their child or children. Some, on the other hand, face many challenges during a divorce and have trouble even being in the same room together. And, when it comes to down to issues like the division of marital property and assets, sometimes divorce proceedings can become completely acrimonious. When there are issues regarding who owns what, or uncovering hidden assets, your attorney will always help you discover the truth.
How might someone try to hide assets in a divorce?
If your spouse is attempting to prevent assets, funds, or property from division in the divorce, it is possible he or she could attempt covert actions to hide them from the court. In addition to this being completely unfair, it is also illegal.
There are a few common ways people try to conceal their assets in a divorce.
- If your spouse always has a lot of pocket cash, but his or her bank account or paycheck has decreased, you may have reason for suspicion. Many people attempting to hide monetary assets will have work paid “under the table” to avoid sharing that money with their spouse, or to avoid having the money on the books and paying taxes.
- If your spouse suddenly begins giving expensive or valuable items away, such as jewelry or artwork, it could be a way to hide those assets until the divorce is finalized. Some people will ask their friends or family members to hold onto their valuables until after the split is settled.
- Another ploy to hide assets is sudden expensive purchases. Your spouse might purchase a pricey piece of art or jewelry and then understate its value during the divorce. This is an effort to convert cash to property—after the divorce is finalized, he or she can sell the property back at its rightful value and have it converted back to cash.
We understand that divorce can be a very challenging process and hidden assets might be the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately, for many people this is a hard reality, and the most effective way of preventing it is being prepared and educated. You deserve what is rightfully yours from your marriage, and it is important you know where to turn for help when you need it.
A Maryland family law attorney also often possesses keen investigative skills and can help gather evidence as needed to bring suspicious behavior to the court’s attention. Your attorney’s knowledge and experience can significantly increase your odds of receiving the full amount of marital property to which you are entitled and then moving forward to a brighter future.
At Cynthia H. Clark & Associates, LLC, our family law attorneys have the knowledge and skills to help you achieve your goals during your divorce. Our years of experience give you an advantage during negotiations or litigation. To reserve a consultation at our office in Annapolis, please call 410.921.2422 or fill out our contact form.