Business owners are often some of the most independently wealthy individuals in the country, and when they become involved in a high-asset divorce the stakes can be very high. Even for those who are not captains of industry, owning a business can present an opportunity to hide a great deal of income that may not become part of the marital property without careful oversight on the part of the separated partner.
It is relatively easy for business owners to hide money, especially if they take cash for their services. Contractors, restaurant owners and others may find it easy to conceal a large amount of the money they take in, making it appear that they earn far less than they do. This is a favorite trick of those attempting to evade paying taxes but it is also used by those who want to keep assets away from ex-partners or who want to reduce the amount of alimony or child support they must pay.
There are several ways to find assets that have been hidden in a divorce. Some partners have a good understanding of their spouse's business and are able to see through ruses about hidden income. In some cases, however, the partner remains in the dark and must turn to professionals to trace hidden income.
A family law attorney can assist a spouse who needs to uncover hidden assets in a divorce proceeding. A family law lawyer can put together a divorce team of experts, such as forensic accountants, who know how to find money when it has been concealed.
Source: Forbes, "What A Divorcing Woman Needs To Know About Her Husband's Cash-Based Business," Jeff Landers, Jan. 30, 2013