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Is My Spouse Hiding Assets? 

Is My Spouse Hiding Assets? 

When going through a divorce, one of the most contentious and critical issues is the fair division of assets. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for one spouse to attempt to hide assets to sway the division in their favor. It is crucial to recognize the red flags of this type of behavior and how to address them. For individuals navigating asset division in Maryland, understanding these signs and seeking the assistance of a skilled divorce lawyer in Maryland can make a significant difference in ensuring a fair settlement.

Red Flags That Your Spouse May Be Hiding Assets

Several signs indicate that your spouse may attempt to hide assets during your divorce process. Some of the major red flags you may notice include:

  • Overly Controlling Financial Information: If your spouse has always been secretive or suddenly becomes overly protective about financial documents and information, this may be a sign he/she is manipulating assets.
  • Sudden Decrease in Income: A spouse claiming a sudden decrease in income, especially if it doesn’t reflect his/her lifestyle, may suggest an attempt to underreport earnings to affect spousal support and asset division.
  • Unexplained Expenses or Withdrawals: Large unexplained withdrawals or expenses that don’t fit into regular spending patterns may indicate an attempt to dissipate assets before division.
  • Delay in Receiving Bonuses or Promotions: If a spouse delays receiving bonuses, promotions, or other forms of income until after the divorce, he/she may be trying to exclude this income from the asset division.
  • Transfer of Assets to Third Parties: Transferring money or property to friends, family members, or newly created business entities may be a tactic to hide assets.
  • Overpayment of Taxes: By overpaying taxes, a spouse may plan on securing a refund post-divorce, thereby keeping those funds off the table during asset division in Maryland.
  • Complaints of Sudden Debts: Claiming sudden debts to friends or relatives may be a strategy to pretend assets are lower than they actually are.

Recognizing these red flags early on may be critical to protecting your interests during a divorce. In addition to recognizing these signs, there are several steps that you need to take to protect your rights.

Steps to Take if You Suspect Asset Hiding

If you suspect that your spouse is attempting to hide assets, you should do the following immediately:

  • Document Everything: Keep a record of all financial statements, unusual transactions, and anything else that may seem off. This documentation will be invaluable when it comes to legal proceedings.
  • Hire a Divorce Lawyer in Maryland: An experienced divorce attorney will provide the legal guidance necessary to navigate through the complexities of asset division. He/she understands the law and will have the resources to uncover hidden assets.
  • Consider a Forensic Accountant: When financial situations are complex or significant assets are involved, your lawyer may suggest enlisting a forensic accountant. These experts are skilled and knowledgeable when it comes to reviewing financial documents to detect irregularities and concealed assets.
  • Obtain a Court Order: If you have a legitimate concern that your spouse is hiding or dissipating assets, in rare circumstances, your divorce lawyer may help you obtain a court order to freeze assets temporarily. This may prevent further manipulation until a fair investigation may be conducted.
  • Conduct Formal Discovery: The discovery process allows your legal team to request documents, conduct depositions, and ask written questions that require truthful answers under oath. This may be an effective way to uncover hidden assets.

Your attorney will assist you throughout the process to ensure that any potentially hidden assets are discovered and fairly split between both parties to the divorce.

What You Need to Know About Asset Division 

Maryland employs an “equitable distribution” model for asset division during a divorce. This doesn’t necessarily mean a 50/50 split but rather a fair and equitable division based on several factors, including the length of the marriage, contributions to marital property, and each spouse’s financial situation. Given this, accurate asset disclosure is crucial for achieving a fair division.

Attempting to hide assets undermines the ethical foundation of equitable distribution and may lead to legal consequences, including a more unfavorable division of assets, monetary sanctions, and/or an award of counsel fees.

Contact Our Divorce Lawyer in Maryland For Help

The suspicion that your spouse is hiding property from the process of asset division in Maryland during a divorce can add an additional layer of stress and complexity to an already difficult situation. However, recognizing the red flags and understanding how to proceed can empower you to protect your rights and secure a fair settlement. Hiring a knowledgeable divorce lawyer in Maryland is critical in navigating the divorce process and ensuring all assets are correctly accounted for and equitably divided.

At Brodsky Renehan Pearlstein & Bouquet, we understand the laws and requirements surrounding asset division in Maryland and are dedicated to providing our clients with the comprehensive legal support necessary to address these challenges. Our experienced team is skilled when it comes to uncovering hidden assets and advocating for your interests, ensuring that you receive the equitable share you deserve. Remember, in matters of divorce and asset division, being informed and proactive is your best strategy. Schedule a consultation with our team today to discuss your rights.

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