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In a high asset divorce, financial fraud is possible

If you are preparing for a divorce, you may be wondering how to plan for your life after the court divides your marital property. If you and your spouse have substantial assets, you may be expecting that your finances after the divorce will make your standard of living comfortable. However, this may not be the case if your spouse uses the time before property division to hide or dissipate your joint assets.

During a divorce, the motivation behind any kind of financial fraud is typically to prevent the other spouse from receiving his or her fair share of the marital assets. If your divorce is especially contentious, your ex may want a larger slice of the pie for himself or herself, or your spouse may simply do whatever it takes to keep you from getting a fair share.

Dissipation of marital assets

If this is the case, your spouse may dissipate or waste the assets as quickly as possible before property division. The most common way to do this is to spend as much money as possible. Some spouses have depleted savings accounts or retirement funds simply out of spite.

Other ways your spouse might try to dissipate your assets include:

  • Gambling
  • Giving money away
  • Selling valuable property for far below its value
  • Allowing your home or other property to fall into foreclosure
  • Allowing expensive items to ruin - for example, leaving them in the rain
  • Allowing property to fall into ruin or actively destroying it

If your spouse has destroyed or devalued any joint property that would have been divided between you, you may be entitled to a larger portion of the remaining assets. Your attorney will advise and advocate for you on this matter.

Hiding assets

Instead of dissipating property, your spouse may hide it so that it is not available for the courts to divide. Some of the common ways your spouse may be hiding assets from you could include:

  • Unfunded trusts
  • Life insurance products
  • Secret safe deposit boxes
  • Hidden online accounts or brokerage registrations

It is also common for a spouse to give money to an unsuspecting friend or family member and ask him or her to keep it safe. Your spouse may tell the other person that you are the one dissipating the assets, and he or she wants to protect them from you.

Finding hidden assets may be a complex endeavor, but a California attorney has the resources and experience for the task. Your attorney will fight for your rights and work to make sure you receive your fair share of the marital estate.

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