Divorce is difficult enough without worrying about your partner being dishonest about the assets that are meant to be measured up and divided by your legal counsel. Due to the painful nature of divorce, people are known to behave in unexpected ways or act out of character. One such behaviour may be hiding assets, to reduce the maintenance settlement or the divorce financial agreement. Our top recommendation here is to dispel any lingering doubts by seeking counsel from a divorce lawyer in Durban.
Why Would Your Partner Choose to Hide Assets?
The scenario of hiding assets before a divorce is finalised is most likely when:
1) the marriage is in the community of property (all assets are split 50-50 on divorce) and
2) one spouse is the higher earner.
How Does One Conceal Assets In Divorce?
Concealing assets during or before divorce negotiations can be done in various ways depending on the individual and their circumstances. Business owners for instance can simply fail to reimburse their own business expenses, pre-pay suppliers or overpay creditors. All of which can be refunded later on.
One can conceal financial assets by not declaring them, depreciating assets beyond their current value, or hiding the extent of the assets. They may also overstate debts to appear insolvent, report income to be less than it really is, and/or claim expenditure to be higher than it is.
Here are our tells that financial assets are being hidden:
- Defensiveness when finances are discussed
- Receipts from accounts you don’t recognise
- Large or frequent withdrawals from joint accounts
- Mysterious computer crashes
- A decline in asset value during discovery (asset transfer)
- Extravagant purchases that can be exchanged or sold
- A sudden decrease in income
- An urgency to file legal documents without legal counsel
- False, under-reported tax returns
- Overpaying SARS for rebates
If you can recognise any of the above behaviors, get in touch with us and we will help you ensure that your divorce proceedings are fair.
What To Do Next
Are you looking for a divorce lawyer in Durban? Contact The Law Offices of Karen Olivier. With a team equipped to support you, we will ensure that one of our lawyers assists with your case and/or provides advice you can count on.