When the marriage is damaged beyond repair and divorce becomes the only option on the table, one of the issues the couple will have to work out is marital property division. In New York, this has to be done based on the state’s equitable distribution law.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a divorce to bring out the worst in people. Sometimes, one or both parties may resort to hiding marital property from the reach of the court and the other party with the goal of gaining an edge.
Here are subtle strategies divorcing couples use to hide property during the divorce.
Payment of non-existent bills
While going through your household’s financial statements, you may notice unusual payments for services that you never saw. For example, your spouse pays their builder friend for imaginary work with the goal of reclaiming that money back after the divorce.
Sometimes, your spouse may lie about their income. Or, if they are running their own business, they may suddenly claim that the company is no longer making profits. They may even come up with fictitious employees and add them to the payroll for purposes of making false payments. Sometimes, they may resort to pocketing cash payments without invoicing or recording them.
Overpaying their taxes
It is also possible that your spouse may be overpaying taxes intentionally with the goal of rolling over the excess payment or seeking tax refunds in the future. This is one of the most difficult tricks to discover when auditing your spouse’s finances.
These are some of the tactics divorcing couples use to hide marital assets. If you suspect that your spouse is attempting to hide assets during divorce, it is important that you take appropriate steps to uncover their schemes and get what you deserve during property division.