One concern of divorcing spouses is ensuring a fair settlement. Unfortunately, this could be tricky if one spouse hides assets to prevent the equal distribution of marital property.
What are some signs that your spouse may be trying to manipulate the proceedings, and what can you do about it?
Division of property in Louisiana
Louisiana is a community property state, which means that typically, marital assets are divided equally between both parties. Exceptions would be any gifts or inheritance given to one spouse.
However, some divorcing spouses wish to keep more of their wealth for themselves. They may feel they’ve worked harder, or the divorce is contested. There are several ways for a spouse to hide assets, including:
- Off-shore accounts
- “Loaning” money to family members to be paid back after the divorce
- Buying new possessions in the hopes they will be overlooked or undervalued
If you believe your ex-partner is hiding assets, here are some signs to look for:
- You are no longer receiving bank statements
- Decrease in their take-home pay
- Giving money to friends and family
- Secretive, defensive behavior
Hiring a forensic accountant is one of the best ways to discover financial impropriety. They have the expertise to locate hidden assets and accurately appraise them. Additionally, they can trace income and property to ensure whether they should be included in the divorce settlement. A forensic accountant can also provide a detailed, impartial report that a judge can refer to during divorce proceedings.
Hiding assets during a divorce is illegal, and a spouse may face severe consequences. Working with someone you trust during a divorce is crucial in protecting your rights and financial future.