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I suspect my spouse is hiding assets, what should I do?

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While any divorce can be challenging and even overwhelming at times, this can be even more so for high-asset couples. That's because considerable wealth, large investments and large caches of property and items can be tremendously challenging to sort out, particularly if the couple has been together for a long time or their assets are significantly entangled.

For couples in this situation, the fact that equitable distribution does not necessarily mean equal can become more noticeable, perhaps even making one spouse mistrustful of the other. This may cause them to hide assets in order to get what they believe to be a fair and equal distribution of marital property. Unfortunately, such a practice is frowned upon in our state, causing considerable legal issues for spouses who partake in such a surreptitious act.

If you live here in Bethesda or elsewhere in Maryland and suspect that your spouse may be hiding assets, you likely have your reasons for suspicion such as noticing large portions of an asset missing from your shared accounts or property disappearing from your household. You may want proof, though, that your spouse is hiding assets, which is where a forensic accountant can help.

After obtaining legal counsel through a skilled family law attorney, a good next step in finding hidden assets is to obtain a forensic accountant. As you may or may not know, these types of accountants are specially trained to recognize surreptitious actions that could indicate an attempt to hide assets. By bringing potential hidden assets the court's attention, you can make sure that these assets get fairly distributed during the property division step of the divorce process instead of going straight to your former spouse after legal proceedings are finalized.

Source: the People's Law Library of Maryland, "Property Disposition in Divorce," Accessed Spet. 15, 2015

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