Hidden Assets and Divorce In Los Angeles, California
At the Land Legal Group, our Los Angeles, California divorce attorneys understand that ending your marriage is a very difficult decision, and is only one of many choices that will need to be made during the legal proceedings.
The division of marital assets is a major part of how your divorce unfolds, and may directly affect your livelihood going forward. While dividing your assets can be decided in private — through mutual agreements between you and your spouse, or in a courtroom, where a judge decides which percentage of financial stability you receive — retaining an experienced family law attorney will provide the confidence you need that all assets are accounted for, before any decisions are made. In many cases, our clients’ futures depend on full financial disclosure, and we want to ensure that is exactly what is outlined in their divorce settlements.
Why Would One Spouse Hide Assets From Another During A Los Angeles Divorce?
Our California state laws govern how marital and separate property is divided during a divorce. Typically, each spouse will receive a percentage of the total value of their joint property. While illegal, one spouse may decide to hide their assets to avoid splitting the property with his or her soon to be ex-spouse, so they can retain the complete value for him or herself.
Whether is it the value of an unknown bank account, stocks, retirement funds, cash, or even physical property, there are many tactics one spouse might use to hide these assets to avoid evenly distributing them.
Those tactics can include:
- Payments to family members or close friends for non-existent services and/or debts then returned to the spouse after the divorce
- Involving the spouse’s employer to delay raises, bonuses, or contract awards until after the divorce is final
- Skimming cash from a business owned by one spouse
- Cash converted into traveler’s checks
- Unreported or underreported income on tax returns and financial statements
- Investing in savings bonds
- Artwork, antiques or other property whose value is undervalued or overlooked
- Rent, college tuition, or gifts given to a partner
- An account set up under a child or new partner’s Social Security number
- Retirement, savings, or other financial accounts that the other spouse is unaware of
Hiding assets from a spouse during a divorce is more than unethical, it is illegal. Unfortunately, it happens more often than most imagine, which is why it is important to have an accomplished Los Angeles divorce attorney by your side before signing any finalized paperwork.
How Can The Land Legal Group Help Ensure I Am Financially Protected During My Los Angeles Divorce?
During Los Angles divorce proceedings, there is a discovery process that requires each spouse to turn over financial documents or other evidence for each legal team to review. This can include tax documents, account statements, outstanding loans, and any other financial paperwork that relates to the marital assets.
Locating assets that one spouse may be trying to shield from distribution requires partnering with a forensic accountant who is trained to professionally assess the value of investments or businesses. These professionals will interpret and evaluate various financial records, and testify about their findings in court to boost our case.
At the Land Legal Group, our divorce lawyers in Los Angeles have extensive knowledge in identifying missing information — financial, professional, and personal — that allows our clients to be fully informed about what is happening in their marriage, and how they can benefit from this evidence coming to light before a judge.
We know that divorce is a very difficult time, and when it is compounded by dishonesty, our experience can uncover the truth, so you can make informed decisions on how to proceed with the financial divorce settlement.
Contact our committed family law attorneys in Los Angeles at the Land Legal Group today by calling (310) 552-3500 to schedule a free consultation. You do not have to face your spouse alone or trust the information he or she is giving you to be true. We will uncover the truth, and reveal hidden assets or evidence that you are legally entitled to, to pursue the best outcome available in your divorce case.