How one spouse may hide assets from the other during divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2024 | Divorce |

Equitable property distribution is the rule of the land in Colorado. Spouses have an obligation to disclose information to one another and the courts about their personal holdings. The discovery process means that both spouses should provide information regarding their separate property and their marital property. They can then use those details to negotiate with one another for an amicable divorce settlement. Otherwise, a Colorado family law judge can divide their marital property in a way that is fair given their personal circumstances.

Some people do their best to avoid their responsibility to share with their spouses during a divorce. They may go so far as to misrepresent their personal holdings and intentionally hide property from the courts. People may hide assets before a Colorado divorce in a number of ways. The following are some of the most common.

Via undisclosed acquisitions

Before someone files for divorce, their spouse may not look very closely at financial records. High-asset couples with a more comfortable standard of living often do not need to account for how each spouse spends their money. It is possible for one spouse to divert thousands of dollars over the years for the acquisition of property that their spouse doesn’t know exists.

The rise of digital holdings has made it easier than ever before for people to acquire potentially valuable resources with marital property and hide them from their spouses. Others may store high-value items not subject to depreciation, like jewelry and durable goods, in a storage unit or a garage with the intention of using or selling those resources after the divorce.

Via hidden bank accounts

Higher-income individuals may receive bonuses, commissions and other forms of pay that they do not necessarily disclose to their spouses. They can then set those funds aside with their spouse being none the wiser.

Others may have set up a secret bank account years ago and could divert a portion of each paycheck into that other account before the remaining balance reaches their joint marital checking account. It can be difficult to find bank accounts held in only one spouse’s name, especially if the financial institution is in another state or country.

People already dealing with the stress of divorce may have a hard time locating and valuing hidden assets. As such, having the help of a lawyer and possibly a forensic accountant may make it easier for Colorado spouses to identify and value hidden assets as they prepare for a high-asset divorce.