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Philadelphia Family Lawyer > Blog > Divorce > How Do Spouses Hide Assets During Divorce?

How Do Spouses Hide Assets During Divorce?


Hiding assets from your spouse is illegal. However, understanding how assets are hidden and the asset-hiding process can make you a savvier divorcee if your spouse decides to use subterfuge during your divorce proceedings.

It is important to understand that unless you have a prenuptial agreement or the law is on your side, everything is fair game during a divorce. That means any property that was acquired during the divorce is subject to division. It further means that value accrued on property during your divorce is subject to division. That means you can own a business prior to a marriage but if the business accrues value, the accrued value would be property of the marriage. That is unless you have a prenuptial agreement protecting the business.

Suffice it to say, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about things. By the time you’re hiding assets from your spouse’s divorce attorney, you’re probably not in a great place emotionally. These tactics hardly ever play out in favor of the individual breaking the law and evidence that a litigant is deceiving the court will be used against them during the court proceedings.

How savvy spouses hide property 

Once your divorce is underway, there will likely be an injunction preventing you from touching assets that are currently in dispute. That includes any marital property, so it’s likely that the vast majority of what you own will end up frozen while your divorce is being finalized. Due in large part to this fact, those pursuing a divorce may be interested in making large purchases or selling property before filing. Such purchases can be voided by the court once the divorce is being heard.

Expensive collectible items can be purchased and then the value of the item can be misrepresented. So, the purchase cost and the appraisal would be vastly different.

Another common trick is to pretend that you’re paying off a loan while actually moving property out of your estate. The idea is to prevent liquid assets from becoming vulnerable to acquisition by a spouse. If your spouse suddenly pays off a large loan and you have no idea they had borrowed the money, you might want to get a bit suspicious.

Some professions avail themselves to hiding assets much easier than others. Those who work on cash tips, for example, may suddenly see decreases in their weekly income.

In other cases, a spouse may delay a scheduled bonus or other influx of income to avoid making the income vulnerable to a divorce proceeding. Spouses have in some cases been known to create fraudulent workers and pay them to avoid their former spouse getting the money in a divorce. Of course, all of this is considered fraud and illegal. It is not, however, uncommon.

Talk to a Pennsylvania Divorce Attorney Today 

Lauren H. Kane represents the interests of Pennsylvania residents seeking divorce. Call a Philadelphia divorce lawyer at our office today to schedule an appointment and we can begin preparing your case immediately.

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