Once a couple has decided to separate and start the divorce process, it’s not uncommon for each partner to assess their financial situation and see where the divorce will leave them. Since Virginia requires that all marital assets be divided equitably, it is unfortunately also not uncommon for the spouse who manages the family’s finances to consider stashing assets away to keep them out of the settlement. If you suspect that your future ex is not disclosing all of your marital assets, your divorce attorney can help you find the money.
How People Hide Marital Assets in a Divorce
Marital assets are any money or property that was acquired during the marriage by either spouse. In Virginia, marital assets are not split 50/50 but are divided equitably by the court. That means that the court will look at each person’s financial situation and decide on a fair division. Of course, if one spouse has hidden some of the marital assets from their ex and the court, the division will not be fair.
Some ways people hide assets in a divorce include:
- Gifting money to family members or friends who will give it back after the divorce
- Opening a new bank account and transferring money into it
- Failing to disclose retirement accounts
- Withdrawing cash and hiding it
- If they own a business, hiding profits or paying fake salaries
- Downplaying the value of antiques, art, or collectibles
- Paying for a new partner’s expenses secretly
If you suspect that the assets your spouse has disclosed are not accurate, your divorce lawyer can help you find them.
How to Locate Hidden Marital Assets
If we are talking about a high-net-worth divorce and a large amount of money, your lawyer might recommend a forensic accountant to track down the money. If less money is involved, your lawyer will attempt to locate the hidden assets through the divorce discovery process. During this process, your ex will be compelled to turn over tax documents, account statements, loan paperwork, and more. They will also be deposed under oath about where the assets are located. If your ex lies under oath, they could be charged with a crime.
MacDowell Law Group Can Guide You Through Property Division Process
If you are divorcing a dishonest spouse, you need to speak with an experienced Virginia divorce attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Fairfax, Virginia, law office at 703.277.2811 to schedule your free consultation. We help clients throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia and look forward to helping you.