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Your Assets and Divorce - The Difference Between Asset Hiding and Asset Protection

It is only natural to want your fair share in a divorce, and there is nothing wrong with protecting assets that are rightfully yours. An attorney can help you with all of this, but it is possible to take things too far and deceptively try to keep more than you should. A civil and potentially even a criminal matter, such practices are known as asset hiding, and they can land you in trouble. Understand the difference and learn how you can legally protect your assets during your divorce. 

Protecting Your Business

Like all other marital assets, businesses are valued and equitably distributed during divorce. This does not necessarily mean that you have to take on your soon-to-be ex-spouse as a partner, or that you have to sell the business. In fact, if you are willing to part with an equal sum of your remaining marital estate, you may be able to walk away with your business intact. However, it is important that you tread carefully in business matters while pursuing a divorce.

Resist the urge to use your business as a way to hide other marital assets, and ensure you are keeping careful track of your books. And, before you file, talk to an experienced divorce attorney. They can help you understand how to legally protect your business without resorting to criminal behavior. Keep in mind: your attorney should also be highly skilled in business valuations since this will greatly impact the overall value of your marital estate.

Selling or Gifting Assets to Keep Them Away from Your Spouse

Often, spouses get so caught up in trying to keep assets away from their spouse that they start selling or giving them away. Unfortunately, this could be considered a form of asset hiding in your divorce. If such behavior is discovered, the judge could still add the value of those assets into the marital estate, even though you no longer have the items. Even worse, you could be civilly or criminally penalized for trying to hide assets. Truly, it is not worth the risk.

Holding Onto Secret Bank Accounts

According to a recent study, more than seven million Americans hide money or assets from their spouse during their marriage. Some do it because they fear they will not have spending money if they tell the truth. Others do it because their spouse is unable to effectively manage money. Whatever the reason, these accounts can no longer be kept a secret during divorce. Even if the account is offshore, it should be divulged during the discovery process. Still not convinced you should come clean about that account? Just know that attorneys and courts have their way of finding out if there are hidden bank accounts, and failing to be honest about them can result in serious consequences.

An Attorney Can Help You Protect What is Legally Yours

While some spouses try to hide assets, others try to find ways to get more than their fair share by lying, manipulating, or trying to alter the value of an asset. Some may even try to gain access to an asset that is not rightfully theirs. The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. can help you legally protect what is rightfully yours, whether you are dealing with asset hiding or other deceptive practices. Our attorneys are highly skilled and have decades of experience in handling the complex issues found within high asset divorces. Call our DuPage County divorce attorneys at 630-462-9500 today to learn more.

Sources:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/10115252/Divorce-and-money-How-spouses-used-the-cheats-charter.html

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/01/21/iding-money-from-spouses.html

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1776 S. Naperville Road - Building B, Suite 202
Wheaton, IL 60189

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