Although dissolving a marriage tends to be a complex and emotionally draining process regardless of a couple’s wealth, those with unusual, diverse, or significant assets often face unique issues. For example, couples with multiple sources of income from stocks, business interests, and other investments, as well as a variety of valuable objects, such as artwork and antiques, will need to record and inventory all of their property before obtaining an appraisal. This can be a difficult process, and with so many accounts, assets, and valuations involved, it is much easier for one spouse to try and hide certain property from the other to avoid sharing it upon dissolution of the marriage. This is both unlawful and unfair to the other party, so if you are considering filing for divorce and are concerned that your spouse may be hiding assets from you, please contact one of our experienced high net worth divorce attorneys today for advice.
Michigan is an equitable division state, which means that most property acquired after a marriage must be divided equitably upon divorce. While this does not necessarily mean that the assets must be divided equally, it does mean that they must be distributed fairly. In an attempt to avoid this, some parties hide assets from their spouse. To prevent this, parties to a divorce are encouraged to make a list of all of the assets that were obtained during the marriage, and those that were brought into the marriage separately. This allows for the investigation of any discrepancies in the parties’ lists.
How are Assets Hidden During Divorce?
Couples who are going through a high net worth divorce should consider hiring a financial specialist who can use his or her skills and resources to locate and then value all of a couple’s assets. Taking this step will make it much more difficult for one of the parties to attempt to hide assets by:
- Transferring property out of one spouse’s name and into the name of a relative or friend who is directed to return the property after the divorce has already been finalized;
- Physically hiding valuable personal property and then claiming that it does not or never existed;
- Taking out large amounts of money from joint accounts and either spending them, hiding them in a different location, or placing them in someone else’s name; and
- Making expensive purchases with joint funds, with the goal of reselling those items after the divorce.
By retaining an experienced high net worth divorce attorney and hiring a financial specialist, those who are going through a divorce can make it much more difficult for a spouse to get away with this type of conduct.
The Legal Representation You Deserve
If you and your spouse have diverse assets or valuable property and are thinking about dissolving your marriage, please contact the high net worth divorce legal team at Benson & Associates, PLLC.