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Is your spouse concealing assets?

Texas law requires that divorcing spouses disclose all relevant information regarding their assets, which includes any financial accounts, retirement assets, property, and the like. Assets that a spouse attempts to purposely conceal or transfer in order for the other spouse to be unable to claim them are called hidden assets. Spouses who suspect their soon to be ex may be concealing assets will need to take action to uncover these assets so that they receive the property to which they are legally entitled. Our Midland, Texas divorce lawyers discuss the types of assets that are commonly concealed and what you should do if you suspect assets are being concealed. 

Commonly Concealed Assets

Certain assets are more often hidden during a divorce than others. Examples of assets that may be hidden include:

  • Cash:  Cash is the most commonly concealed asset because it is difficult to trace.
  • Accounts:  Some spouses may try to divert marital funds to accounts set up for another person, such as a relative, friend, or child.  
  • Income:  Those who are self-employed will often attempt to falsely deflate their income in order to force the other spouse to receive less in the divorce settlement.  Business owners may attempt to lower their salary, skim cash from the register, delay signing business contracts, and more.
  • Benefits:  At times, a spouse will not notify the other of the existence of retirement accounts or eligibility to receive these funds through an employer.
  • Collectibles:  Individuals who own collectibles or antiques may attempt to assign a far lower value to these items, knowing it can be hard to determine their value.

It is not legal to purposefully conceal assets in a divorce case. If your spouse is found to be intentionally concealing assets, he or she could be charged with fraud, contempt of court, perjury, and civil court violations.  First, however, you will need to uncover the hidden assets. Notify your attorney right away if you believe your spouse is hiding assets. Your attorney will involve the court and use subpoenas, along with other investigative means, to discover the hidden assets. Swift action will ensure that you receive the assets you deserve during your divorce.