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    Introduction

    Negotiating a divorce is never an easy situation and resolving financial issues, particularly for couples with a high net worth, can be complicated. The situation is even more contentious in Pensacola, FL. when one spouse alleges that the other has hidden assets.

    While people will hide assets for a variety of reasons, it typically is the result of one party wanting to keep money or property away from the other party to prevent it from being divided during the divorce process.

    Ways to Hide Assets

    There are several ways that a spouse may attempt to hide assets during a divorce:

    • If your spouse owns real estate in their name only, they may sign the deed over to the property to a family member or friend.
    • If you own valuable art or expensive collections, your spouse may store them with a friend, at an undisclosed location, or even declare they do not exist.
    • Your spouse may withdraw large sums of money from bank accounts and move it to a safety deposit box in another person’s name.
    • Alternatively, your spouse may try to move small amounts of cash over a prolonged period of time so that each withdrawal appears innocuous.
    • Your spouse purchased expensive items just before the divorce, with the hope that they could resell those items afterwards.
    • Your spouse may try to deflate their income artificially so that it looks like they earn less than they actually do. If they are self ­employed, they can write smaller paychecks to themselves or adjust the business ledgers so that it looks like the business is not doing well.

    The Results of Hiding Assets for the Unsuspecting Spouse

    If your spouse successfully hides some of your assets, this can have a huge negative effect on many aspects of your divorce, such as property distribution, account and investment division, child support, and alimony. For example, if you live in a community property state, you would be legally entitled to half of the funds in bank accounts, but if it has been emptied, you could get nothing.

    Consequences of Hiding Assets on the Accused Spouse

    Being caught with hidden assets in Pensacola can have serious consequences. The spouse could be required to pay sanctions, which is a monetary penalty. They could also be required to forego some of their assets that they normally would have been entitled to keep. Finally, a judge could dictate that the spouse pay a larger amount of alimony to address the hidden assets.

    What Can You Do

    If you are in the process of getting a divorce and believe that your spouse has hidden assets, consult the licensed and experienced law firm of Kenny Leigh and Associates to ensure you get a fair and thorough resolution quickly.