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Uncovering hidden assets during divorce

An impending divorce marks much more than the end of a marriage. Issues of property division, child custody, child support, alimony and visitation plans are all part of the process. A divorce with lesser assets or without children can still be complicated, as the marital home and liabilities must be accounted for, but one of the problems that tends to come up more often in high asset divorces is hidden assets.

Fortunately, there are many warning signs that point to the possibility of hidden assets. Suspicion or knowledge of tax fraud, for example, is often a place to begin looking for discrepancies. Tax fraud may be more common among business owners and professionals with access to cash-paying customers. Cash transactions can occur under the table, with funds later used to purchase cars, second homes and other luxury items. This type of behavior may also be utilized to hide assets during a divorce, which effectively reduces court-ordered alimony payments. Unlike child support, which is calculated based on state statutes, alimony is largely at the discretion of a judge in Georgia.

Divorce proceedings are often laced with emotions, and it is easy to overlook the possibility of hidden assets as well as the need for future financial security. This is an important reason to enlist an experienced divorce lawyer dedicated to helping you achieve a fair settlement and protect your interests. Hidden assets, misstatements of fact and other tactics are not that uncommon and contested divorces can quickly become complex in Georgia.

Source: Forbes, "What A Divorcing Woman Needs To Know About Her Husband's Cash-Based Business," Jeff Landers, Jan. 30, 2013

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