One of the most contentious aspects of many divorces is property division. Even amicably splitting couples may have disagreements over the distribution of shared assets.
Arkansas handles it with an equitable distribution policy, meaning that courts split marital assets (usually classified as those acquired after the union) based on equitability, or fairness, rather than splitting them down the middle and handing half to each party. Separate property (generally that which an individual came into the marriage with or inheritance or gifts given to only one person) is not part of this. However, if one of the divorcing spouses chooses to hide assets, the other one may not receive his or her fair share of marital property.
How do people hide assets during a divorce?
Common tactics include:
- Creating trusts for people to hold money and then retrieving the money later
- Gifting money to friends or family that they return after the divorce
- Hiding accounts or investments
- Concealing money with cryptocurrency
- Overpaying taxes to receive it back in a post-divorce tax return
These are only a few of the numerous ways individuals may attempt to hide money from the court.
How can individuals uncover hidden assets?
A private investigator can trail the suspected spouse and watch for suspicious activities like opening new accounts or seemingly erratically spending large amounts of cash. He or she can also follow a paper trail to find spent or hidden money. A forensic accountant can search through records and other paperwork and uncover hidden accounts, investments and false expenditures. Individuals may also report suspicions to the court, which may appoint a forensic accountant to investigate.
Hiding assets in a divorce denies one party of his or her rightful portion of shared assets and is illegal. Divorcing spouses who suspect their soon-to-be-ex-spouse is guilty of this have recourse.