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How Can I Uncover Hidden Assets During My California Divorce?

Posted on in Property Division

Los Gatos, CA divorce attorney for hidden assetsGetting a divorce can be a challenging time in your life. The process of permanently separating from your spouse is difficult enough, but addressing complex matters related to marital assets and child custody can make things even more grueling. While many divorces can be resolved amicably (including through divorce mediation), some spouses will look to do anything and everything they can to spite their former partner during divorce proceedings. One of the most common forms of foul play that can occur during divorce is hiding assets. If you believe that your spouse is attempting to conceal marital property, you will want to work with a family law attorney to determine your options. 

What Are Hidden Assets? 

In the state of California, all assets owned by a married couple are considered community property. In other words, any property accumulated during a marriage belongs to both spouses, barring a prenuptial agreement that states otherwise. If a spouse attempts to devalue an asset or conceal property from their spouse and the court, this is known as hiding assets. 

Hidden assets can come in various forms, but they are rarely as simple as concealing a physical item in a place where the other spouse cannot find it. Some of the most common forms of hidden assets include intentionally avoiding reporting income through tax returns or financial statements, setting up a secret bank account (which may be done through the use of a child’s social security number), or requesting that an employer delay paying wages and bonuses until after the divorce process is finalized. 

It should be noted that if your spouse is a business owner, they may attempt to hide assets associated with their business. This can be done through false payments of wages to non-existent employees or moving money from the business to another person’s account in the hopes of having it transferred back after the divorce is finalized. If you believe your spouse is intentionally attempting to devalue their business during the divorce process, you may need to work with a forensic accountant to gain a full understanding of the business’s value and the assets you are entitled to share. 

In the state of California, your spouse can be held in contempt of court or found guilty of perjury due to their attempts to conceal assets. The family law act provides that each spouse must make a full disclosure of assets, and harsh penalties may apply in the event that a spouse does not make a full disclosure. During your divorce, you will want to address the issue of undisclosed assets to ensure that you can maintain financial security after the divorce process is complete. 

Contact a Los Gatos, California Hidden Assets Lawyer

With decades of experience assisting clients throughout the divorce process, Attorney Benita Ventresca understands how to address issues related to hidden assets. She will work with you to carefully analyze your finances and determine your best options. You deserve a financially secure lifestyle following your divorce, and if your spouse is attempting to withhold financial information, it is time to act. To schedule a complimentary consultation with an experienced Los Gatos divorce attorney, call our office today at 408-395-8822. 

Sources: 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/catherineschnaubelt/2019/03/08/finding-hidden-assets-in-a-divorce/#5487c7266fd1

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