Is Your Spouse Hiding Assets?
It is often the case that individuals with significant incomes have complex finances. They may be the owner of a business or a professional practice. They may have substantial investment income from a diverse portfolio of economic interests. They may have to employ sophisticated accounting services, and financial and tax advisers to supervise their wealth.
How Much Do They Really Make?
A fundamental problem in every divorce is obtaining an accurate statement of each spouse’s income. If both work for a third party, their W-2 and recent Form 1040s will provide an accurate record of their income. But if they own their own business or professional practice, they may be able to characterize the earnings of their business or practice in such a way as to hide substantial amounts of income, potentially cheating you of much of your equitable share of the marital assets.
Forensic Accounting And Hidden Assets
If you are facing this situation, the attorneys at Olson Law LLC can help. We have particular experience in high-asset divorces, and understand how to examine income statements and how disclosures can be manipulated to disguise income. We can call upon specialized help from forensic accountants whose job is untangling complex finances and asset tracing, which may be presented in a confusing and convoluted manner, intentionally designed to make answering the question, “How much do they make?” unnecessarily difficult.
As a business owner, they may have opportunities to create fake payroll and underreport their income. They can manipulate their books by overpaying creditors or creating phony invoices to pay phony business. They may even create dummy or shell corporations to transfer assets or in other ways disguise income and cash flow.
Small Business With Cash Revenue?
Another concern is if your spouse operates a business involving cash. They may take in revenue in cash or keep separate sets of books in order to minimize their overall income. They may have done this for years to avoid taxes, and this can make it more difficult to discover in the case of a divorce, as their revenue may look unchanged. But a careful examination of their finances, including a review of expenses and stated revenue, may uncover discrepancies.
Wasting Of Assets
In addition, there may be cases where a spouse will engage in reckless spending and wanton dissipation of assets to diminish the amount of marital property available for the other spouse during a divorce.
If you have concerns regarding any aspect of your spouse’s apparent income, call 763-515-8013 for a free consultation with a lawyer. You can also schedule online. From our office in Buffalo, Minnesota, we represent clients throughout Maple Grove, Wright County and the west Twin Cities metro area.