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Can financial fraud occur in high-asset divorce?

Divorces have a reputation for being highly contested affairs, and when it comes to California spouses that have earned a lot of money, sometimes a divorcing spouse may engage in fraud to hide assets so they cannot be distributed as part of a divorce judgment. The Huffington Post details ways in which financial fraud during a divorce can be revealed.

Basically, if a divorcing spouse has a lot of money, that person will have greater chances than most people to conceal the assets. For example, someone can hold assets in stock options, employment bonuses, compensation plans, expense accounts or offshore accounts, all of which can be hidden or simply undeclared. Unless you know what to look for, these locations can easily go unnoticed.

If families have set up large nest eggs, concealed places for assets can continue to multiply. These can include unfunded trusts, shell corporations, concealed brokerage accounts or safe deposit boxes maintained in a bank. These hiding places will vary depending on the opportunities presented to the other spouse, or the specific motivations the spouse may have to hide money, but the overall aim is to deprive a spouse of money or assets.

Signs of financial fraud can be uncovered with the help of a financial expert. Sniffing out fiscal fraud entails examining financial records such as the couple’s retirement accounts, tax returns, credit card statements, and property appraisals for problem signs. Financial investigations also involve determining what the actual income of the family is by using past financial records. This will help illuminate sudden fiscal deviations on the part of one of the spouses. 

This article is intended to educate readers on the topic of finanical fraud in divorce and is not to be taken as legal advice.