Many times, a spouse may try to conceal an asset from the other spouse during a divorce proceeding. It could be a piece of real estate or a bank account. It’s not unheard of for a spouse to deflate his income when it comes to issues like alimony or child support. However, there are steps that the other party can take in order to uncover this, so it’s best that anyone seeking a divorce not try and hide his or her assets from anyone.
There are a few different ways that a spouse may try to hide her assets. She may have real estate in her name only and may look to remove her name from the title by transferring a deed to a family member. Or, she could withdraw large amounts of money and stash the money in a safe deposit box in the name of a friend. Your spouse may also look to purchase big ticket items in hopes of reselling those items after the divorce is final.
In regards to deflating income, your spouse may want to do so in order to make it seem like he makes less money than he really does so that child support or alimony is calculated differently. This is especially easy if your spouse owns his own business and is self-employed by hiding income off the books. If he works for a bigger company, he may decrease the tax exemptions he claims on his paycheck, thereby causing the IRS to withhold more money out of his weekly pay check. He may also start contributing more money to his retirement account so that his take-home pay is less.
Penalties for Hiding Assets
If you’re caught hiding assets during a divorce proceeding, you can get in trouble. A judge could order certain sanctions against you, generally high fines. You may also be forced to give up your share of assets to your spouse in order to make up for the assets you hid. The judge may also ask you to pay more support to your spouse until you pay back what you took by hiding the assets.