In South Carolina and throughout the United States, one spouse attempting to hide assets from another is not as uncommon as you may think. However, it’s unethical, sneaky, and illegal. This is why finding hidden assets is a big part of many divorce proceedings.
There are sure signs you can watch out for that may tip you off that your spouse is attempting to hide assets from you during your South Carolina divorce.
Here’s what to watch out for to ensure you have an accurate account of your family’s assets.
Purchases that Can Be Overlooked or Undervalued
Perhaps your spouse bought an expensive antique rug for their office or purchased additions to his stamp/coin/or art collection. It’s sometimes the smallest of items that have value, so watch for your spouse’s new purchases.
Hidden Assets of Cash
It could be that your spouse has a safety deposit box or has hidden cash in your home or their office. Think back to your spouse’s recent activities, and if anything seems suspicious, then your spouse may be hiding assets.
Underreporting on Tax Returns or Financial Statements
If your spouse is underreporting on their income tax returns or keeping items off their financial statements, it can’t be used in the economic analysis of your marital assets. Keep an eye out for anything that doesn’t seem to add up.
Overpaying the IRS or any Creditors
This tactic is especially sneaky. If your spouse overpays the IRS or a creditor, they can seek a refund after your divorce is final.
Defer Their Salary, Hold Commissions and/or Bonuses, Delay in New Contract Signings
If your spouse is doing any of the above, it means that this income won’t show up anywhere during your South Carolina divorce proceedings. These methods are some of the most common and prevalent ways to bury hidden assets.
Creating Phony Debt As Hidden Assets
You may ask yourself, why would anyone do this? It’s because your spouse may collude with family members and/or friends to create a phony loan or other expenses. Your spouse can then make payments to them, knowing full well that they will get all that money back after your divorce is final.
Have a Custodial Account Established in Your Child’s Name Using Your Child’s Social Security Number
To use their own child in this manner is particularly heinous, but it’s one to watch out for. Additionally, your spouse could use their boyfriend/girlfriend’s social security number to do the same thing, and it would be more challenging to trace.
Transfer of Stock As Hidden Assets
Your spouse may transfer a stock or other investment accounts into the name of family members, a business partner, or even a “dummy” company. When the divorce becomes final, they transfer the assets back to themselves.
The list of ways a spouse can try to bury hidden assets is endless. Whatever the reason behind this, it is illegal and subject to extremely severe penalties.
Even so, the burden of proof is on your shoulders. As the Greenville, South Carolina divorce lawyers as Bannister, Wyatt, & Stalvey, LLC would point out, you need to have good working knowledge about your family’s finances so you can easily pick out any changes.
You need legal ways to protect yourself. If you believe your spouse is trying to hide assets during your divorce, you need to be unemotional and think about finances.
The skilled and experienced divorce lawyers at the Greenville, South Carolina divorce lawyers as Bannister, Wyatt, & Stalvey, LLC are here to help you and ensure your rights are not being violated and that all of the assets of your marriage are being divided appropriately. Contact us today!