To most, Sam and Diana seemed like a young couple with modest means.
Diana was a stay-at-home mom, and Sam drew a salary of $60,000 annually at a company he was part owner of. When they decided to go their separate ways, things were amicable.
Sam claimed on his financial affidavit that his ownership interest in the software company equated to $40,000. In the property division suit, relying on the affidavit, the judge ordered Sam to pay Diana $100,000.
Mere months after the ink was dry on the order, the company that Sam had an ownership stake in was sold for millions of dollars; his payout was handsome. The truth was that Sam knew his interest in the company was worth a lot: other comparable offers had come in before the divorce was finalized. Despite this knowledge, he casually reflected on his financial affidavit that his ownership interest was only valued at $40,000. Diana had no reason to believe that this figure was only 3% of what his actual ownership interest was worth.
When the truth came out, Diana sued Sam, claiming fraud. She engaged in a decade long legal battle before the parties were able to reach a settlement. After paying her extraordinary legal fees as well as fees for expert witnesses, Diana only realized $200,000.
Asset hiding is one of the most popular dirty tricks in the book. This story is just one example of how a spouse can successfully hide assets during divorce proceedings. You can probably imagine plenty of other methods, from offshore accounts to hiding money in trusts or even giving interest-free “loans” to trusted acquaintances. Beware: sometimes, especially in cases where a lot of money is at stake, asset shuffling will start as soon as someone mentions the word “divorce.”
This is why it is so important to find the right Austin Divorce Attorney, who can protect your interest during divorce proceedings.