spousal support

Spousal Support: Your Ex May Be Hiding Money

5 Common Methods for Hiding Money

Unfortunately, one of the prevailing themes that reappears time and time again in divorce court entails the clever concealment of finances for the sake of eschewing alimony and/or child support awards. If you have any reason to be suspicious of the financial situation being presented to you, this can serve as a helpful guide: highlighting some key areas to focus on. Exposing assets and income streams that are being stealthily concealed is never easy. As a result, one must be literate and up to date in understanding the various strategies and schemes that are used to hide money.

There are many ways that a divorcing spouse can try to circumvent the obligation to financially support you and/or your children. The following five ways are some of the most commonplace methods that employed individuals in the midst of a divorce try to sneakily retain money.

  1. Perks and Bonuses – Many companies provide employees with all sorts of allowances, especially if the job involves traveling and/or remote assignments. If this is the case, it is highly possible that your divorcing spouse receives a steady stream of money for expenses, meals, clothing, or tech equipment. Some employers will even cover the costs of monthly commuting costs and parking rates, particularly for positions that are located at offices in dense, downtown areas where parking and housing is limited and expensive. A separate area where employees can receive unconventional income streams entails corporate expense accounts. Perhaps your spouse is given a regular stipend or income stream to wine and dine potential clients. In many business arrangements, stipends and expense accounts can be generously funded by companies who respect the impact of treating customers and clients to posh restaurants, pricey magic shows, and exclusive sporting events. Be wary about these situations. Such expenses may be deducted for the sake of marital dissolution proceedings while they are being simultaneously funded by or charged to a corporate bank account.
  2. Postponing Salary & Sneaky Professional Negotiations – It is not unheard of for a divorcing spouse to surreptitiously defer their income with the conscious help of a cooperating employer, simply for the purpose of avoiding alimony and/or child support. A good indicator that something fishy might be afoot would be a sudden and precipitous downward shift in commissions or monthly salary. It is very possible in such a circumstance that some arrangement has been made to freeze earnings in a manipulative and unethical manner. If there is a major discrepancy in your spouse’s recurrent income, the legal team should be notified immediately so that they can investigate and challenge this alarming decline in court.
  3. Extracurricular Clubs & Subscriptions – Some employers pay for, or greatly subsidize, various membership services. It is not unreasonable for a company that is interested in the health and wellbeing of its employees to reimburse the costs to local gyms, country clubs, and saunas. After all, a healthier employee means a decreased likelihood of being sick, unproductive, and/or burdening the company’s healthcare premiums by accruing pricey medical bills. Sometimes, a company may even offer employees an annual interval of a corporate Timeshare, season tickets to a corporate suite at a stadium, or a subscription plan for their cell phone or Internet service. If an employer is in fact paying for these services, the expenses should not be deducted in any way from your divorcing spouse’s financial tallies.
  4. Stock Market Investments & Furtive Loans – If your spouse is investing in cryptocurrency, purchasing stock options, or receiving corporate stock instead of income, it is undoubtedly wise to make sure you address this part of the financial equation. The decision to buy stock options for a discount rate through an employer is not at all uncommon. If this is the case, your spouse may be worth much more in assets than they are actually accounting for. Another common tactic of a divorcing spouse is to loan money to family and friends, who in turn store the funds for a transient period of time, often interest-free. This is dishonest and disreputable. That does not mean it doesn’t happen. If your spouse is listing unusual and exorbitant debts, or if there is a sudden influx in deficits from loans, this should serve as a flag to look closer into things.
  5. Paid Vacation & Sick Days – Finally, do not forget that most jobs offer paid time off and paid sick days. If your spouse does not go through all of their allocated vacation or personal sick days, it is quite probable that they are receiving extra income. Checking up on this can be a good way to uncover money that’s not being presented to the court.

Whatever the motivations or reasons may be, it is never acceptable for a divorcing spouse to hide money and neglect their marital duty to provide financial support. That is why it is always beneficial to be as informed as consciously possible in all the ways that income streams and financial assets can be camouflaged, concealed, and unreported. The Springer Law Firm can help. Backed by 80+ years of collective experience, we know where to look for hidden assets and money during the divorce process.

Contact us today by completing our online contact form or dialing (281) 990-6025.

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