Finding Hidden Income and Assets
Feb. 10, 2022
Suspecting that your spouse is hiding income or assets before or during the divorce proceedings can be upsetting. You may wonder what options are available to you to discover the hidden income or assets.
Finding hidden income and assets can be a challenging task. While you may experience anger, hurt, and many other emotions, it is important that you direct these emotions in a constructive way and seek legal counsel about what to do.
As a knowledgeable attorney with decades of experience handling divorces and other family law matters, I understand what it takes to find hidden assets and help spouses seek a fair share of the assets. At Rundberg Law, LLC, I assist people with their family law matters, including the division of assets, in both Missouri and Kansas, including Overland Park and the rest of Johnson County.
Division of Assets in Kansas and Missouri
While the law that governs the division of assets during a divorce differs from one state to another, Kansas and Missouri have similar property distribution statutes. Both Kansas and Missouri require an “equitable” division of the spouses’ assets. Contrary to popular belief, equitable division does not necessarily mean equal.
For the purposes of dividing assets between divorcing spouses, Kansas and Missouri split the property into two categories: marital and separate (though Missouri uses the term “non-marital” when referring to separate property).
Marital property refers to any assets the married couple acquired during the marriage. Separate or non-marital property, on the other hand, means any assets the spouses owned before the marriage. In addition, any gifts and inheritances acquired before or during the marriage through gift or inheritance are treated as separate property in Kansas and Missouri.
Common Ways Spouses Attempt
to Hide Assets and Income
Many spouses in both Kansas and Missouri attempt to hide assets and income to prevent their soon-to-be-former-spouse from getting their fair share of marital property. Spouses use a wide range of tactics to hide income and assets, but the most common ones are:
Placing assets in a child’s name. Accounts created in a child’s name do not appear on the parents’ personal financial records.
Manipulations with federal tax withholdings. Withholding taxes is a common way to decrease the amount of or avoid paying child support or alimony.
Making unusual and sudden transactions. A spouse may make it look like they are gifting money or loaning to family members or friends or making other unusual transactions before or during the divorce.
Hiding cash. One of the most obvious ways to hide income and assets is to hide cash. An experienced attorney can trace cash withdrawals back to their origins to ensure a fair division of assets.
How Can a Spouse Find
Hidden Income and Assets?
When looking for hidden income and assets, a spouse should take the following steps:
Contact an attorney. A skilled divorce attorney can help you determine if your spouse is hiding income and/or assets and gather the necessary documentation to prove their existence. Your attorney will guide you throughout the process and ensure that you receive your fair share.
Look for hidden income and assets if you have legal access. Gathering evidence about hidden income and assets can be challenging because a spouse may no longer have access to their spouse’s bank and other financial accounts during the divorce proceedings.
Take advantage of the discovery process. One of the best ways to find hidden assets and income in a divorce is through the discovery process, which involves exchanging documentation, disclosing information, and answering each other’s questions.
Working with an Experienced
Family Law Attorney
If you believe that your soon-to-be-former spouse is hiding assets or income, seek out legal counsel as soon as you can. At Rundberg Law, LLC, I help clients in Overland Park, Johnson County, and throughout the Kansas City area, in both Kansas and Missouri. I will work on your behalf to navigate the divorce process and fight for your fair share of the division of property. Contact my law office to discuss your particular case today.