It is no surprise that property during a high-asset divorce can often turn into a highly contentious matter. The stakes are high for both spouses, and the battle over money is one of the primary sources of disagreement. In order to get the upper hand, some high-income individuals may try to hide assets or deplete their current assets.
These actions are done to the detriment of the lower-income spouse and can put them in a worse position after the divorce is finalized. At Family Lawyers of Atlanta, our attorney is committed to advocating for you. Our law firm works with financial experts in Georgia to help uncover all marital assets and help ensure that you receive a fair distribution of assets in your divorce settlement.
What Are Hidden Assets?
The lower-earning spouse often does not have the full picture of a couple’s assets. The higher-earning spouse may seek to hide some portion of the marital property, thereby depriving their partner from a significant portion of assets that they would otherwise be entitled to receive.
What Are Some Signs That A Spouse Is Hiding Marital Assets?
Common tactics to hide marital assets include:
- Removing a spouse’s name from an account
- Sudden withdrawals from a joint account with no explanation
- Unexpected gifting to a spouse’s friends or family members
We utilize financial experts to help find all of your marital assets and make sure that your spouse is not hiding money and other assets.
Can Hidden Assets Be Found?
If you are getting a divorce and you think that your spouse may be hiding assets, there are steps you can take to find hidden assets. If you think that your spouse is hiding money or other assets, you should:
- Review financial documents including bank account statements and credit card receipts
- Review family and household expenses, specifically to see if expenses exceed income
- Review employment documents for information about bonuses, possible deferred compensation plans, and stock options
- Review tax returns to make sure everything reported for taxes was also reported in the divorce
- Conduct a public records search to make sure there aren’t real estate transactions in your spouse’s name that you didn’t know about
Most important, a divorce attorney will have additional resources. Working with Family Lawyers of Atlanta in your high-asset divorce will help reassure you that everything is being done to find all of the potential marital assets. With access to forensic accountants and other financial experts, we will work to find all of the marital assets, even in the event that you believe your spouse may be hiding assets.
What Is A Fraudulent Transfer During A Divorce?
According to the laws in Georgia, if a spouse transfers assets or money with the intent to delay, or hinder or defraud their spouse, it can be considered a fraudulent transfer or conveyance. The judge can look at who the transfer was made to, if the transferring spouse kept control of the property, and if the transfer was kept a secret or disclosed during the divorce proceeding.
Can Fraudulent Transfers Be Undone?
If you think that your spouse has fraudulently transferred money or assets, that transfer can be reversed by a court order. The judge can also order that the property that was transferred, be considered in the division of the marital assets. If the divorce has already been finalized when the fraud is discovered, fraud can be a reason to reopen the case.
What Is Marital Waste?
Marital waste, or “dissipation of assets,” occurs when one spouse squanders marital assets intentionally to reduce the amount of compensation their partner will receive.
What Are Some Signs That A Spouse Is Wasting Assets?
Divorce judges in Georgia consider the following red flags when determining an equitable distribution of assets:
- Increased spending on personal items, shopping or dining out
- Destroying marital jewelry, artwork or heirlooms, or selling these items for significantly below market value
- Intentionally making poor investment decisions
If a spouse is exhibiting any of the signs listed above, a divorce judge can take that into consideration when determining a final distribution of the marital property.
Dedicated Counsel For Complex Divorce Issues
Both hiding and depleting marital assets can have serious long-term effects on your livelihood. We provide focused, knowledgeable legal counsel tailored to advocate for your needs. Our legal team will conduct a thorough analysis of your situation to determine whether your spouse is working to limit your access to your marital assets.
To learn more about how we can help you, schedule a free initial consultation with our lawyer by calling 404-418-7777 or by sending us an email. Appointments are available at our main office in Roswell or any of our other offices conveniently located in Atlanta, Snellville, Marietta and Duluth.