Hidden assets may have an impact on outcome of California divorce

Breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend certainly can be difficult. Splitting up with a spouse of several years naturally may be even harder. Saying goodbye to the assets one used to share with a now ex-spouse may be difficult as well, especially if the assets carry high values. One way to ensure that all marital assets are divided fairly during a divorce proceeding in California is to make sure that all of the assets are actually on the table, with none remaining hidden.

Particularly for a person with a high net worth, hiding assets is one way to keep a spouse from accessing what he or she considers to be his or her own property. The spouse, however, may benefit from trying to uncover these hidden assets. After all, the hidden assets may actually be community property that both spouses equally own in the eyes of the law.

One of the most common ways of hiding assets is trying to conceal information or items that might not readily appear in particular documents. For instance, some people attempt to loan money to family members "interest-free" in order to keep this asset for themselves long-term. It's worth noting that some discovered assets may not be liquid, such as vehicles or property, so splitting them during a divorce proceeding certainly may be challenging.

People don't like to be lied to or cheated, so finding out that a spouse has hidden assets may cause anger and even hurt. Moreover, a court will typically act swiftly when evidence of deceit is apparent by a party concealing assets. However, once these assets are discovered, they all can be accounted for when property is being divided during a divorce. Understanding the law and taking advantage of opportunities to negotiate a settlement with a spouse can boost one's chances of having a personally favorable outcome in this type of family law proceeding in California.

Source: financial-planning.com, "Divorce Planning for High-Net-Worth Divorce", Andrew Pavia, March 24, 2014

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