Asset Valuation/Hidden Assets

Valuating Hidden Assets During Divorce

At The Buncher Law Corporation, our attorneys are experienced in working with leading forensic accountants and business evaluation experts to identify, properly value, and divide community property assets. It is not uncommon for one spouse to attempt to hide “community property assets” or to cause a “community business property” he or she controls to appear to have decreased in value. Whether you are trying to uncover your ex-spouse's hidden assets, protect your separate property, or prevent the loss of an unfair portion of your business, our divorce attorneys are here to help you

How Are Marital Assets Hidden?

It is particularly common for a spouse to hide assets when he or she has been primarily in control of the family’s finances. This is also true when both spouses, for one reason or another, have kept their respective finances and accounts separate, even though the law still considers it community property that must be divided evenly. Funds and properties can be hidden by a variety of means, such as holding accounts or title to property in a sibling's or friend's name (often referred to as a fraudulent transfer). Such conduct is a violation the spouse's fiduciary duty and can result in the harmed spouse being awarded well more than his or her half community property share of the asset as a punishment to the wrongdoing spouse.

Among several other techniques, accounts can be manipulated to:

  • Make the company appear to be less profitable than it really is
  • Cause the business to have false or inflated debts and/or expenses
  • Postpone and/or hide accounts receivable

Furthermore, if the wrongdoing spouse is caught lying under penalty of perjury, they can be subject to criminal punishment. Also as noted, one spouse may also attempt to artificially deflate the value of an asset that contains a community property interest, such as a business.

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