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Beware of family helping a spouse hide assets

When it comes time to divorce, beware of ways that your spouse may attempt to hide assets that may apply to a divorce settlement. Although the courts never look very kindly on hiding assets in a divorce case, the practice is still surprisingly common. In many cases, a spouse may attempt to claim that certain assets belong to another family member with whom it is relatively simple to transfer property.

This is a more widespread tactic than you might think, so if your spouse's family was involved in your personal finances during your relationship, you should be especially careful. In many cases, a parent or sibling may claim that the spouse owns a certain asset while you are married, but when divorce comes knocking, the other family member suddenly claims they own the asset.

This is especially common in families who have recently immigrated to the United States, or where one or more parent remains in another country. Often, because of the differences between how American tax laws operate and other countries' tax laws, it is advantageous for a parent to claim their child owns a certain asset to avoid taxation from the other country. However, when it comes time to disclose assets in a divorce settlement, the parent may attempt to retroactively claim ownership to avoid dividing the asset.

Navigating the tricky territory of family assets and divorce is never simple, so it is always wise to enlist the guidance of an experienced attorney who understands the intricacies of the law and can protect your interests. With proper legal counsel, you can keep your rights secure as you work toward a fair and equitable divorce solution.

Source: Florida Record, "Florida attorney says failing to admit ownership of funds common in divorce cases," Charmaine Little, June 02, 2017

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