How might the concealing of assets affect your divorce?

You and your spouse have significant assets that you acquired during your marriage. Since Texas is a community property state, you know that your marital property will be divided when the judge finalizes your divorce. This may be reassuring, as you realize that becoming single can affect your financial quality of life, but you also worry that your spouse is the type to hide assets, so a portion wouldn’t become yours after the divorce.

Concealing marital property is against the law, and your soon-to-be-ex could be in contempt of court for lying under oath about his assets. However, this does not stop divorcing spouses from trying this tactic all the time. The following methods of concealing assets are common in family law courts:

  • Reporting an income that is less than the actual salary
  • Having one’s employer delay a promotion or annual bonus until after the divorce, or pay extra funds “under the table”
  • Regularly withdrawing a small amount of money from a joint bank account (getting cash back while grocery shopping, for example) and depositing it in an unknown bank account
  • Giving money or property to a friend to hold onto under after the divorce
  • Selling assets without the other spouse’s knowledge and hiding the profits
  • Charging personal purchases to the company’s account

If your spouse is hiding assets, it doesn’t only affect property division. The judge may award you less in alimony or child support if he or she believes your spouse makes a smaller amount.

It may be difficult to prove your spouse is concealing assets. You might find clues in his social media activities. For example, he might report a meager income but post pictures of expensive purchases, fancy restaurants and lavish vacations. You might also seek the assistance of a private investigator or financial advisor. Experienced counsel is also helpful when substantial assets are at stake.

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