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Is your spouse hiding assets

Pennsylvania couples beginning the divorce process must handle several serious issues, one of which is property division. Whether you intend to attempt a collaborative resolution or head straight into litigation, prepare for disagreements about the most fair way to divide the marital assets.

Some spouses try to conceal assets, either because they purposely want to get more than their fair share or because they believe the process will result in an unfair division. However, filling out false information on the required affidavit may count as perjury and subject the perpetrator to a variety of legal sanctions.

Backing up your suspicions

In most cases, the practical difficulty arises when it comes to proving the existence of concealed assets. Judges will not investigate this matter on their own, nor will they just take one spouse's word for it that the other is lying. You will need to take action to identify red flags and pursue inquiries. An experienced attorney can advise you as to the best approach for your individual circumstances.

Methods of hiding income

If your spouse receives income reportable on a W-2, he or she is unlikely to be able to hide or divert it without your knowledge. Income from cash-based businesses is easier to hide. Other methods of income concealment include working for cash and failing to report income, stashing money in off-shore account and diverting mailed statements to another mailing address.

Common warning signs

Spouses looking to conceal assets often raise several red flags you should learn to recognize. Some common ones include keeping you out of the loop, taking solo trips abroad and claiming decreased income while continuing previous spending patterns. Even if you do not handle the family finances, you should have access to all account and be able to view statements.

Avoid getting implicated in tax fraud

A spouse who hides assets may also report false information on tax returns. If you suspect this type of activity, avoid signing joint tax papers as you may face joint liability for tax evasion if you do not qualify for the innocent spouse exception.

Get qualified help

If you harbor misgivings about your soon-to-be-ex's financial activities, speaking with an attorney as soon as possible can help you get proof and protect your financial interests.


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Haller & Imbarlina, P.C.
20120 Route 19, Suite 208
Gigliotti Plaza
Cranberry Township, PA 16066

Phone: 724-935-0820
Fax: 724-779-6299
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Haller & Imbarlina, P.C.