3 ways a spouse may hide assets inside a business venture

On Behalf of | Divorce |

If you are going through a divorce, you may have some anxiety about your financial future. After all, not only must you adjust to a new way of life, but you may also need to figure out how to live on one source of income. Fortunately, California law ensures you receive an equal share of marital assets. 

Naturally, you can only receive half of marital wealth if you know the value of the assets you and your spouse own. If your soon-to-be ex-spouse is a small business owner, he or she may attempt to disguise marital wealth by stashing it inside the business venture. Here are some possible ways to pull off this type of deception.

1. Paying for future services

It is not uncommon for small business owners to supply their operations with an influx of cash to cover necessary expenses. Your spouse should not, however, move assets to drive down the value of your marital estate. If your spouse pays upfront for future business services, hiding assets may be his or her real motivation.

2. Redecorating the office

Under normal circumstances, small business owners enjoy wide latitude to spend money as they see fit. If you are going through a divorce, though, your spouse may use marital wealth to pay unnecessary business expenses. A sudden redecoration of the office, for example, should raise your suspicion.

3. Making loans

Unscrupulous spouses may try to hide assets by making direct loans to friends, family members or others. If these loans come out of your joint checking account, you are likely to notice them immediately. Unfortunately, if your spouse funnels the loan through his or her business, you may need to take extra steps to determine if he or she is hiding assets. 

Not only is hiding assets unfair, but it also carries with it significant consequences. Nonetheless, if your spouse is trying to gain an unfair advantage or put you in a worse position, he or she may deceive you. By understanding how a small business may act as a conduit for transferring marital wealth, you can better advocate for your fair share.