Divorces have the potential to be messy, particularly when they involve high-value assets or contentious relationships. Florida adheres to an equitable distribution policy when dividing marital property.
Individuals may utilize certain tactics to conceal their true wealth, leading to their spouses not receiving their fair share of assets.
1. Storing Funds In Hidden Locations
One common method used to conceal assets is establishing offshore accounts in countries with strict banking secrecy laws. By transferring funds or properties to these accounts, individuals can keep their wealth hidden from their spouses and legal authorities. Additionally, some employ shell companies, which are entities without active business operations, as a front to disguise their assets.
2. Underreporting Income
Another commonly employed tactic is underreporting income. This can take various forms, including inflating business expenses, hiding cash earnings, and undervaluing assets during financial disclosures. By pretending to have a lower income, the individual may negotiate a smaller alimony or child support payment than what his or her true earnings warrant.
3. Transferring Assets to Friends or Family
Some people transfer properties, businesses, or valuable items to trusted friends or family members before a divorce. Because they are not in the divorcing individual’s name, the judge does not take them into account when dividing the couple’s property, and the individual appears less affluent on paper. The friends or family members return the assets after the divorce’s finalization.
4. Investing in Cryptocurrencies
According to CNBC, one in five Americans has some involvement with cryptocurrency in his or her past. By investing in digital currencies, individuals can transfer significant sums of money with relative anonymity. Cryptocurrencies offer a decentralized and often untraceable way to move funds, making it challenging for spouses and legal authorities to track these financial transactions.
5. Overpaying Debts
By paying off loans, mortgages, or credit card debts in advance, individuals can decrease the overall value of their estate. While this might seem like a responsible financial decision, in the context of divorce, it serves as a way to lower the assets subject to division.
There are many ways individuals may try to hide their worth during a divorce to cheat their spouses of their rightful portion of marital assets. A forensic accountant can help ferret out hidden funds, accounts, and property. This can help ensure a more equitable split based on the true financial picture.