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How do people hide assets?

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2022 | Firm News |

Divorce is a difficult time for anyone. However, some people make it harder than it needs to be when they attempt to hide assets from their spouse.

What exactly is asset hiding, though? How do people pull it off in the first place?

Passive asset hiding

Forbes talks about asset hiding in divorce situations. Sometimes, people will hide assets passively, simply hoping that their spouse will not think to look too closely. Examples of assets hidden in plain sight can include airline mileage, stocks and certain club memberships, such as country clubs.

In other cases, spouses trying to hide assets may take a more aggressive or direct approach. They do so by directly attempting to obfuscate or obscure the source of an asset, or an asset in parts or its entirety.

Active asset hiding

A popular example involves a person transferring one asset type to another, i.e. money to material goods. Someone might buy an expensive collector item, a car, electronics or other high priced things in order to transfer their money into an asset that cannot get split. Then, after the divorce gets finalized, they will often sell the item and get their money back.

In other cases, a person has the means to get even craftier. For example, a business owner could fabricate an entire employee and give a paycheck to this fake person. They instead collect all of that money, keeping it hidden from their spouse.

Asset hiding in any form is illegal, whether it involves other people, happens digitally or happens in a more classic way. Those facing a spouse hiding assets can take legal action.