Concealment of Assets in Divorce
Hidden Assets: Back Accounts, Stocks, Cash, Property & Other Assets
Many areas of your life will no doubt be impacted by a divorce, including your taxes, estate planning, any pensions, credit, and more. Sometimes when two people are dissolving a marriage, there can be an attempt by one or both parties to hide money, property or other assets so they will not have to relinquish it in the divorce settlement. In some cases, people have hidden money and other assets from their partners throughout the entire term of the marriage. Both spouses will have to swear under oath during the proceedings that the known assets are all of the assets. All parties involved in the divorce, including husband, wife, and counsel representing the parties, have an obligation to be honest, ethical, and forthright. Our Dallas divorce attorneys can take the necessary steps to uncover any hidden assets, if there are any, so that a fair and equitable property division can take place.
What is equal distribution of property in Texas?
Even though Texas is a community property state, it does not mean that all property will be divided on a 50-50 basis. In fact, a judge can make the determination about who gets what based on a variety of factors: if one spouse's earning capabilities are quite different from the other spouse; who has the primary responsibility for raising children; if one spouse is significantly older than the other; what will be needed by the spouse and the children after the divorce is final, and more. This can result in property division that is very different than a 50-50 split.
How People Hide Assets
There can be many ways a spouse might try to hide assets, including transferring a small business into the name of another, transferring funds out of an account into another's account, and even handing over large sums of money to another under the pretense that it was done to pay off a non-existent debt. During a divorce, the court will order that there are to be no unusual transactions until the divorce is final; only the usual and customary types of financial dealings will be allowed. Therefore, anything that is unusual would be a possible red flag for fraud or concealment.
There can also be other signs that might signal an attempt to conceal assets, such as not having joint accounts, maybe even from the beginning of the marriage - there is no transparency about the finances, keeping one spouse in the dark; mail is delivered to some location other than the home, especially bank statements and bills; savings being depleted quickly and often in conjunction with a spouse buying expensive items, such as a new car; the financial status of a spouse is suddenly "downgraded" when a divorce is pending; a spouse being forced to sign papers quickly because the deadline is that day, such as tax returns, or possibly forms related to estate planning. This makes it impossible for the spouse to have the time to read and understand what is being signed.
How a Dallas Family Lawyer Can Help
If you are filing for divorce and are concerned that your spouse may be hiding assets, we can engage in uncovering concealed bank accounts, stock accounts, and other assets. Bank statements can be analyzed for inconsistencies. Financial institutions can be notified of injunctions placed by the court so that any large and / or unusual transactions are halted until the matter is resolved. We are very experienced in handling all aspects of divorce and are skilled in using all available avenues to assist our clients to pursue the best possible settlement terms. Contact a Dallas divorce attorney to learn more about protecting your rights.