The thought of giving your ex half of your assets likely does not spark joy. Though only a small percentage of divorce cases are actually taken to trial, the bitterness that often comes with the divorce process can inspire exes to take rather unethical measures. In order to circumvent handing over a portion of their hard earned assets to their ex, some people find rather creative ways to hide assets.
How Is Property Divided up?
Utah is an Equitable Distribution state. This means that property is not necessarily divided in half, rather it’s divided fairly. When it comes to Marital Property in Utah it is most likely (without some extraneous circumstance) the court will split the property equally. Equitable Distribution takes many things into consideration when dividing up assets. These considerations can include custody arrangements, your ex’s financial situation, your financial situation, and many other factors. These arrangements are typically made when a couple cannot agree on the division of assets. In order to prevent paying an ex a little extra, some people may be tempted to lie about or fail to disclose all their assets.
Ways to Hide Assets:
The bitterness of divorce can inspire some real creativity—especially when it comes to hiding assets. In fact, people are even using cryptocurrency to hide assets until the divorce is finalized. Having a portion of paychecks going into a secret account is a common way people cheat their exes in a divorce. Other ways people cheat their exes include overpaying on income taxes, having commissions and bonuses conveniently deferred until after the divorce, buying up large amounts of prepaid gift cards, and getting cash back with purchases. You would be surprised how many people at the time of a divorce they conveniently lost their job and/or their pay was reduced drastically (eye roll entered here).
Signs Your Ex Hid Assets:
With the technology we have today, it is becoming more and more difficult to hide assets from your spouse before the divorce. If you think your ex may have hidden assets, the first place to check is your bank statements. Look for any unusual or frequent cash withdrawals. Is your ex’s paycheck suddenly smaller? Your ex could have had part of his or her paycheck deposited into a different account. People may also use friends and family to hide assets as well. So, if your ex claims they owe a large sum of money to a family member or friend, it may be a sign they’re using that person to stash away cash. Your spouse may also “give” money to friends and family during this time. If, unlike other years, your ex has suggested filing income taxes separately this year, they may have done so in order to hide assets by overpaying the IRS. If you have children, your ex may have set up accounts in their names. An attorney will be the most skilled in finding assets your ex may have hidden.
If Your Ex Is Currently Hiding Assets:
If you suspect your ex is hiding assets, the best thing to do is gather evidence and present it to your attorney. If you do not have an attorney, now is the time to get one. Attorneys can make the process of discovering assets much smoother and more efficient. Remember, it is much easier to discover and divide hidden assets before the divorce is finalized.
What If the Divorce Is Already Finalized?
If your divorce is already finalized, you may still have options. However, you’ll need to weigh the value of your ex’s hidden assets against the legal fees. Since cases involving hidden assets are typically very contentious, it may not be worth your time and money to reopen the case. A lawyer can best answer your questions pertaining to potential hidden assets.
If you believe your spouse is unfairly hiding assets, we can help. Our attorneys are dedicated to making sure your divorce is in your best interests. We can help you discover any assets your ex may be hiding and make sure the terms of your divorce are fair and equal.