One of the tasks in any divorce is to divide your property. North Carolina law considers the majority of assets acquired during the marriage to be marital property. They need to be divided equitably. If your partner has tried to hide some of those assets, you could end up receiving less than you should.
People may hide assets during marriage because they do not want to tell their spouse what they have spent money on or because they understand that should the marriage end, they would have to give some property to their spouse. Once divorce looks likely, a spouse may make financial maneuvers to lessen what they have to share.
How do people hide assets?
There are many ways to hide assets. Here are some of the most common:
- Transferring property to friends or family: This could be as simple as moving money to a friend’s account or buying a property in someone else’s name.
- Buying things that can be undervalued: If your spouse bought artwork or antique cars, they might be worth more than you think. Have an expert value them for your divorce.
- Delaying receipt of payments: If your spouse did not receive their annual bonus this year, it might mean they asked their boss to hold off paying it until after you settle your divorce.
- Overpaying tax: Maybe your spouse moved money out of your joint account by paying too much tax. They know it will take the IRS time to issue a refund, so that money will not figure when you split your property.
What should I do if I think my spouse has hidden assets?
If you believe your spouse may have hidden assets, your attorney can advise you and perhaps recommend a forensic accountant who can track down these assets. Understanding all the assets you and your spouse own is essential to achieving a fair divorce settlement.