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Hidden Assets

Sterling Heights Lawyer Pursues Spouses’ Hidden Assets

Michigan divorce attorney works to obtain full financial disclosure

During a divorce, each spouse is required to make a full disclosure of their property so the court can fairly decide issues of asset division, child support and spousal support. But what happens if your spouse decides to hide assets from the court and from you? How would you know you’re being cheated and what can you do about it? At Dawson Family Law, PLLC, we provide the protection you and your children deserve. After 40 years of divorce litigation experience, I know all the tricks unscrupulous spouses use to try to get an unfair advantage. I am meticulous in tracking down hidden assets, often working with forensic accounting experts to prove fraud and to compel the full disclosure the law requires.

How do spouses hide assets during divorce?

Spouses may use the same strategies to hide assets from their spouses as are used to shield property from taxation or from creditors, such as placing funds in offshore accounts or in the names of other parties. In the lead-up to a divorce, a spouse might use such devices as:

  • Fraudulent transfers — This means gifting or selling assets for less than they are worth to a close associate in order to place those assets out of the reach of the other spouse.
  • Moving funds to new bank accounts — A spouse can open an account in a fictitious name, or in another state or country, and then fail to disclose the account’s existence. He or she could likewise secure a safe deposit box and fill it with cash.
  • Delaying scheduled raises, bonuses or stock options — Putting off the receipt of benefits already earned is another strategy for keeping income and assets away from a spouse.

Fortunately for the innocent spouse, all of these strategies leave breadcrumbs. Having dealt with countless divorce cases where failure to disclose finances was alleged, I am prepared to investigate thoroughly to uncover the truth.

How you can protect against your spouse hiding assets

If you are initiating a divorce, you should try to get copies of your spouse’s financial records before you file. If, once you serve papers, your spouse starts moving assets, you have clear evidence of manipulation. If your spouse initiates the divorce, he or she may already be hiding assets from you. A thorough examination of your last few years’ tax returns, business records, bank statements and other financial records could contain clues that would lead the court to conclude there’s more to your spouse’s resources than meets the eye. A judge could order your spouse to disclose records he or she has withheld that favor you during asset division. When assets are discovered, courts can take action to recover them, including the voiding of any transactions used to hide them. This could mean awarding 100 percent of the hidden assets, as well as the cost of attorney’s fees, to the innocent spouse.

Contact a Sterling Heights family lawyer to discuss hidden assets in Michigan divorce

Dawson Family Law, PLLC protects divorce clients from fraud in the distribution of assets throughout the greater Detroit area. For a free initial consultation to discuss the process and your options, please call 833-671-4445 or contact me online. My office is conveniently located one-half mile south of M-59 (Hall Road) in Sterling Heights.

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Office Location
  • Sterling Heights Office
    43805 Van Dyke Avenue
    Sterling Heights, Michigan 48314
    Phone: 586-731-7400
    Fax: 586-731-6370
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