Pilka & Associates, P.A.
Full Service Law Firm for Tampa,
Brandon and Polk County
863-236-9321 |813-502-1097

Hiding assets with fake gifts: What to watch out for

When divorce is on the horizon, some people decide that they're going to hide assets. This is not legal, but they don't care about that. They just want to move assets out of the family's possession so that they do not have to split them with their ex.

One way that people do this is by giving fake gifts or loans to people close to them. They set up an arrangement with that person to get the money back after the divorce.

For instance, imagine that you and your spouse have around $500,000 in cash in the bank. This doesn't include your investments and other assets. It's just the cash you have on hand in your checking account right now.

Your spouse knows it's hard to hide physical assets, but he or she decides to take $400,000 out of that account and "loan" the money to a friend who suddenly seems to have a promising business idea. Instead of getting $250,000 in the divorce, you get just $50,000. Two months after the legal side of the case is over, that friend suddenly decides not to start the business anymore and gives the $400,000 back to your ex.

This simple example shows how this plan generally works. However, it can be far more complex if your spouse puts more time and work into disguising those assets. It is important to keep a very close eye on bank statements and investment portfolios to see if there are any unusual transactions. If you think your spouse is hiding assets, talk to your Florida family law attorney about your best course of action.

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