One would hope that during a divorce or legal separation, both members of a couple in Arizona would be willing to deal with their property division issues honestly and fairly. Unfortunately, whether out of fear or of spite, it happens all too often one party attempts to hide assets from the other party. This is against the law, but it does happen. People going through a divorce should be on the lookout for signs that their ex is trying to hide assets.
Hiding assets may not always literally mean moving property to another location. The idea behind hiding assets is always to keep that property “off the books” during a divorce so that it does not get divided or figured into child support calculations. After the divorce or separation is over, the person who hid the assets then has access to them.
When it comes to hidden assets, the best protection really involves taking the steps necessary to prevent one spouse from hiding assets in the first place. In this respect, even happily married couples should make sure they know the details of the family’s finances. By knowing the details of the family’s assets and debts, it is relatively easy to identify when an asset is missing without explanation.
People also need to be aware of common schemes cheaters may use to hide assets. For example, the person may claim the existence of a family loan or other debt which, conveniently, matches the value of the asset. In other cases, a person may transfer property to a relative or trusted friend so it is no longer in the mix of marital property, only to retrieve it after the divorce.
Finally, there are important documents, like tax returns and mortgage documents, which can help a person identify hidden assets. People going through a divorce should speak with their attorneys if they think their ex might be trying to conceal property.