How can I protect my assets from a spouse who may dissipate or conceal marital assets before the divorce?

Spouses who are most often cheated out of marital assets in divorce are usually those spouses who know too little about the family finances. Divorcing spouses can be dishonest.

Asset searches by professional asset search firms don’t always uncover concealed marital assets. A spouse can cleverly hide assets, particularly when the marriage had a long downturn and there is ample time to conceal assets. Spouses must stay alert to their spouse’s business and financial affairs and also their ex-spouse’s financial dealings after divorce. Ex-spouses may then discover earlier concealed assets.

To hide assets, spouses sell stocks or bonds, or withdraw savings and claim the money was spent or lost. Or a spouse may title assets to a straw. Divorce courts routinely see these tactics and they can severely penalize the dishonest spouse.

Timing and fast-action are vital to protect assets when divorce looms. Spouses play ‘hide and seek’ with property. They transfer assets to international accounts, camouflage their ownership of assets, and sell business interest to friends or partners.

Fraudulent asset transfers of business interests are notoriously common. The defrauded spouse can try to prove a fraudulent transfer, but the effort is usually futile or too expensive. And spouses may delay receiving income, inheritances or other assets until after they divorce. An accommodating employer, for instance, may defer a salary increase, bonus or large commission.

Divorce promotes endless ways to hide assets and income.

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