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Bay Area Family Attorneys > Blog > Divorce > Recognizing Strategies Spouses Use to Attempt to Hide Assets: Part Two

Recognizing Strategies Spouses Use to Attempt to Hide Assets: Part Two


While it is understandable that humans might feel compelled to act selfishly and hide financial assets in order to shore-up their own wellbeing in a divorce, that does not mean that it is an excusable action in the eyes of the court. Hiding financial assets or information can rise to the level of criminal charges from the court. In Part One of this series, we explored a few of the common strategies that spouses have implemented in attempts to obscure financial assets or information from their spouse and the courts. This article will continue to explore some of the most common strategies that you can be watchful for in your own divorce.

The following strategies are not the only ones that might be implemented, of course. And addressing these issues effectively could require expert help from multiple sources. It is always wise to confer with an experienced divorce attorney to ensure that you receive advice tailored to your own unique circumstances.

  • Taking cash withdrawals with debit or credit cards
    Even slow drains to an account add up over time. Is your spouse taking out $20 in cash with every debit card purchase? If this happens even twice a day over the course of a year, that amounts to $14,600 dollars. Be mindful of slow drains to accounts. They are less noticeable than a withdrawal taken all at once, but at the end of the day the money is still received.
  • Hiding Cryptocurrency
    Cryptocurrency currently plays a role in 20%-50% of divorces in California. It is not uncommon for one spouse to not be forthcoming about their cryptocurrency holdings. The various ways you can purchase cryptocurrency can make it even more difficult to ascertain what has been purchased and what the spouse’s true holdings are. There are reported cases of spouses finding undisclosed crypto wallets containing hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is always wise to ensure you engage with professional attorneys, even forensic accountants, to ensure that you have all the information you need heading into a high-asset division divorce.
  • Buying expensive gifts: It is not uncommon for a spouse to purchase expensive gifts such as artwork, collectible items, watches, etc., in the hopes that the value of these items will be overlooked or undervalued when it comes to a divorce.
  • Deferred bonuses, commissions, or salary: Deferring income refers to the practice of a spouse asking their workplace to postpone payments, raises, bonuses, etc. until after a divorce is finalized so those amounts will not be factored into the divorce settlement.
  • Creating accounts in a child’s name: It has been a strategy for a spouse to set up an account with a child’s social security number and place marital funds into that account. Checking for bank or credit accounts in your young child’s names could help you discover such an instance.
  • Artificially selling property for less than valued intending to repurchase
    Again, this is a strategy of showing an asset to be valued at less than it really is. All of the items above warrant serious conversations with an experienced divorce and property division attorney.

Contact Cardwell, Steigerwald Young

A seasoned San Francisco property division attorney can help you ensure that you have all of the information you need to protect yourself in any ongoing or upcoming divorce action. Do not leave your well-being to chance. Contact our elite team of divorce attorneys at Cardwell Steigerwald Young LLP today.



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