You deserve a fair divorce, and the last thing you want is your spouse hiding assets to get a bigger share of the cake. However, there are certain ways in which you can make sure that doesn’t happen. There are common practices among those who hide their assets before divorce, and you can prevent your spouse from making an untruthful financial statement by learning how to identify the signs of this illegal act.
Spot the signs
You and your spouse must present your full financial disclosures on your financial affidavits to get divorced in Georgia. The fewer assets your spouse claims on their financial affidavit, the less money you will receive. Unfortunately, the concealment of assets is a common practice among those who know they are getting divorced. If you suspect your spouse would do this to you, there are signs you should be on the lookout for. Your spouse may be hiding their assets if:
- They are transferring money to your child or children
- They are overpaying the IRS
- They suddenly need new employees for their business
- They are purchasing expensive or luxurious items
- They are underreporting income on tax returns or financial statements
- They are transferring stock or money to their family members, friends or business partners
- They suddenly have debts with family or friends
- They have deferred their salary or delayed signing an important contract
- They have changed the address of where their bank or financial statements are delivered
- They act defensively
If your spouse has done any of those things lately, they may be hiding assets from you. Talk to your lawyer about this, as this practice is illegal, and if the court finds your spouse is guilty, your spouse would have to pay your attorney’s fees and a fine.
Where to look
If you feel your spouse is hiding assets, you can confirm it by rounding up some documents. Ask your spouse for their financial statements, employment documentation, real estate information, tax returns and anything else that can help you determine if they are hiding assets. If they refuse, they might be hiding something, and you must inform your lawyer immediately.
The right to equitable distribution
Georgia is an equitable distribution state, which means that the courts will decide what to give to whom depending on your specific circumstances. However, the courts cannot make the right decision if your spouse commits the crime of perjury and refuses to tell the truth in the proceedings. Because of this, you must keep an open eye to see if your spouse is hiding assets, and you must let your lawyer know if you spot some of the warning signs mentioned above. You deserve a fair share of your marital estate, and you can get it if you catch your ex’s attempts to hide their assets.