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Hiding assets: Is it illegal?

Once a divorce is imminent in New Orleans, asset and property division become one of the most contentious points. People should make sure they are aware of all marital assets, and the possible ways a soon-to-be ex could disguise them.

According to some reports, there are spouses who could be attempting to hide some of their assets, which is illegal in this state. Those who may be suspicious that asset concealment is going on may want to do some investigating into where these assets may be hidden.

During tax season, a person has the option to overpay or even underreport income. This could help a person either receive a refund following the divorce, or not have to share what he or she chose not to report.

A person can also purchase items in secret and place them in other areas outside of the joint home, create false expenses with friends and family, hide money in the bank, postpone bonuses and other work-related income during the divorce, transfer stock to other family members, and even use the social security number of a new love interest to set up accounts.

Therefore, spouses are advised more and more to stay involved in the family finances in order to keep track of assets and know where they are located in case that information is needed. In addition, since finances are sometimes what can drive a good marriage to divorce, being aware of assets can be beneficial to keep the marriage together.

There are many reasons that a person would try and hide assets. A person may be trying to ensure he or she will have money after a divorce, it could be out spite, or it may just be greed. Whatever the reason, it does not change the fact that hiding assets or income is unethical and illegal.

Source: Forbes, "Divorcing Women: Here's Where Husbands Typically Hide Assets," Jeff Landers, March 14, 2012

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