Fred L. Abrams, divorce and hidden assets attorney, handles cases involving divorce and hidden assets. Therefore, Attorney Abrams may be able to help you if you are a spouse in a high-net-worth marriage going through a divorce or other places. The Court’s distribution of marital assets during your divorce can be one of the most contentious issues in your divorce. This is especially true if your high-net-worth spouse owned: successful businesses, valuable real property, or if your spouse had significant assets or liabilities.
Marital Property, Separate Property & Commingled Property
In order to distribute property to you and your spouse during your divorce, the Court considers three kinds of property. These are marital property, (a.k.a. community property), separate property and commingled property. Marital property basically includes assets you or your spouse acquired worldwide during your marriage. It can be: real estate, investments, earnings, homes, offshore bank accounts, cash, art and cultural artifacts, investments, intellectual property like patents or trademarks, or any other asset. Then there is separate property you or spouse may possess. The Court typically does not divide / does not distribute separate property during your divorce. Separate property is property you or your spouse respectively owned before you were married. Additionally, separate property can be a gift you or your spouse acquired or an inheritance either of you received. Depending on your circumstances, separate property in your divorce might possibly include a wide range of assets: stocks and bonds, business entities, bank accounts, jewelry, etc.
Meanwhile, it is important for you to know that you might benefit from an increase in value of your spouse’s separate property. This is true if the increase in value of the separate property happens during your marriage. At your divorce, the Court can consider this increase in value of your spouse’s separate property when it distributes property to you. Finally, in your divorce there may be commingled property which the Court distributes to you and / or your spouse. For instance, your spouse has a large sum of money which was separate property because your spouse accumulated it before the two of you married. However, during your marriage, your spouse commingles this money by depositing it into your joint marital bank account used to pay household expenses. Consequently, the Court considers all the commingled money at your marital bank account to be marital property the Court can distribute to you at your divorce.
If you suspect that your partner is hiding assets in your divorce, reach out to a divorce and hidden assets lawyer, Fred L. Abrams, Attorney at Law.
Divorce & Hidden Assets
Adding to the above complexities, is the fact that your high-net-worth spouse may decide to cheat you out of your fair share of marital property / community property. Your spouse may try to do this by making misrepresentations to you during the pretrial discovery phase of your divorce. At this initial phase of your divorce, you and your spouse are obligated to provide full financial disclosure to each other. However, if your spouse is dishonest, then your spouse may misrepresent his / her assets, liabilities and net worth. At your divorce, your spouse may use common concealment methods to hide marital property / community property from you. Just some of these methods are: parking money in a Swiss bank account or at other offshore banks; titling assets in the name of a paramour; sibling; or other intermediary; fraudulent asset transfers; maintaining assets at a sham trust; and forming shell companies and maintaining assets at them. Your spouse can easily employ these and the other common concealment methods to hide marital property from you. Then you will struggle with two separate problems at the same time, both a divorce and hidden assets. If you suspect your high-net-worth spouse is hiding marital property / community property anywhere across the globe, contact hidden asset attorney, Fred L. Abrams for help.
Ways Assets Are Hidden During Divorce
In anticipation of divorce, a high-net-worth spouse can easily place marital assets / community property beyond your reach. The goal of this kind of scheme is to hamper your true valuation of the marital assets so you can not claim your fair share in your divorce. In furtherance of the scheme, your spouse will make his / her financial affairs nontransparent. A spouse determined to hide money or other assets from you will muddy the waters by transferring the money or other assets through multiple jurisdictions rather than just one. Moreover, a spouse hiding vast sums of money from you will usually go offshore. Stated differently, your wealthy spouse can transfer assets into foreign bank accounts; maintain diamonds or other portable valuable commodities in a safety deposit box at an offshore bank; and purchase valuable real estate located offshore. Just some of these sophisticated methods your spouse may employ to hide assets may include:
- Hiring an offshore lawyer to create a sham trust to hide marital marital property / community property.
- Using false debts / sham loans to lower the value of your marital estate. To cite just one example, your spouse may claim he / she owes money to a family member or other person because of a loan. Meanwhile, your spouse has no intention of ever repaying this “loan.”
- Fraudulently transferring money to friends, family members, a paramour, or others with the expectation the money will be given back after the divorce.
- Maintaining marital assets / community property at a Swiss bank account, a Luxembourg bank, a Cayman Islands bank or at other financial institutions located in offshore tax havens.
- Secretly purchasing valuable property and then titling it in only one spouse’s name. This includes art and cultural artifacts, yachts, real estate, private jets, or acquiring stock share certificates / secretly investing in various companies, etc.
- Establishing shell companies, using them to open offshore bank accounts and then depositing money into these bank accounts maintained in the names of the shell companies.
- Accumulating large amounts of cash / engaging in bulk cash smuggling.
- Using offshore credit cards or offshore debit cards.
Fred L. Abrams, a divorce and hidden assets lawyer, may be able to assist you in these kinds of situations. Attorney Abrams may be able to recommend a legal strategy which can help you detect hidden assets and interdict them. This can increase the chances you will recover your fair share of marital assets / community property during your divorce. Attorney Abrams can employ legal tools that may be available to you, even if your spouse placed assets beyond your reach in different parts of the world. Contact Mr. Abrams for help, if you are facing the problems caused by a divorce and hidden assets.
Divorce And Hidden Money: What You Need To Know
Fred L. Abrams a divorce and hidden money lawyer, may use legal tools to help you in your high-net-worth divorce. Divorce and hidden money are two issues you may face at the same time. When handling your divorce and hidden money case, Attorney Fred L. Abrams will use legal tools in his effort to identify your marital property / community property. Even if your spouse has used a wide variety of concealment methods, Mr. Abrams may be able to detect and interdict your spouse’s hidden money. This is true whether your spouse has hidden money in offshore bank accounts, made fraudulent asset transfers, parked assets in a bogus trust, or used other common concealment methods.
- a) Offshore Bank Accounts
For example, Mr. Abrams can seek evidence from an offshore bank witness, about your spouse’s secret offshore bank account. This evidence at the offshore bank can include your spouse’s bank account opening documents, monthly bank account statements, signature cards, offshore credit card statements, any offshore loan information, etc. An attorney like Mr. Abrams who handles divorce and hidden money cases, may gather this evidence by using a combination of domestic laws, foreign laws and international treaties. Furthermore, Mr. Abrams may even be able to commence an emergency offshore legal proceeding to freeze your spouse’s hidden money at the offshore bank. This proceeding to freeze or block a bank account can be brought in a case where there is a divorce and hidden money. The goal of this proceeding is to freeze your spouse’s hidden money at the offshore bank before your spouse can move it. Moreover, the proceeding is available regarding Swiss bank accounts and many other bank accounts across the globe.
- b) Fraudulent Transfers
Additionally, your high-net-worth spouse may fraudulently transfer your marital property / community property to other parties. Then, Mr. Abrams might apply to the Court for an order to clawback the fraudulently transferred property. Additionally, Mr. Abrams may seek money damages on your behalf, from both your spouse and the other parties to the fraudulent transfer. To succeed with your fraudulent transfer claim in court, Mr. Abrams would collect evidence about the transfer. This evidence would demonstrate your spouse’s transfer of marital property was replete with fraud indicators, (i.e. badges of fraud). For example, during your divorce, your spouse sells a Phantom Rolls-Royce to his / her sibling for $10,000. Meanwhile, the Phantom Rolls-Royce was marital property worth $400,000. The first fraud indicator is the timing of your spouse’s transfer. Your spouse transferred the Rolls-Royce at a time it was subject to distribution by the Court because of divorce. The second fraud indicator is your spouse transferred the Rolls-Royce without adequate consideration. This means your spouse transferred the $400,000 Rolls-Royce without being properly paid for it. The third fraud indicator would be your spouse transferred the Rolls-Royce to an insider, your spouse’s sibling.
- c) Sham Trusts
Your divorcing spouse might also park hidden money or other assets at a sham trust. Your spouse may establish the sham trust through a lawyer or a nominee service provider, (a company that among other things forms trusts). Next, your spouse might transfer large amounts of cash to a bank account titled in name of the trust. Your spouse may also transfer the rest of his / her assets to the trust, which makes your spouse appear insolvent. On paper, the cash and other assets your spouse possessed no longer belong to your spouse as your spouse transferred them into a trust. However, in actuality your spouse secretly retains controls over the supposed trust assets. This means your spouse is the true beneficial owner of the trust assets rather than the trust. Perhaps most important, is that your spouse only established the trust to hide money and other assets from you during the divorce. Under these specific circumstances, divorce and hidden money lawyer Fred L. Abrams would bring a legal proceeding on your behalf, to recover the supposed trust assets. Mr. Abrams would base the proceeding on: the trust was a sham; your spouse established the trust for the purpose of defrauding you during divorce; the veil of the trust should be pierced under either an alter ego theory or under a nominee analysis; and the trust assets should be clawed back as they originated from your spouse’s fraudulent transfers.
Find Hidden Assets In A Divorce
It can be frustrating to try to find hidden assets in your divorce or your divorce in other places. This is especially true if you are in a high-net-worth marriage and your spouse is determined to cheat you out of your fair share during your divorce. There are many ways your spouse can hide assets from you. One common method is to secretly transfer assets across international borders. This can hamper your ability to detect your spouse’s assets and / or interdict them.
- Bulk Cash Smuggling
For instance, your spouse my engage in bulk cash smuggling by driving over a land border crossing with a suitcase full of cash. German tax cheats successfully used this method for years. The tax cheats drove from Germany to Luxembourg with cash filled suitcases in the trunk of their cars. Once over the German-Luxembourg border, the tax cheats deposited the cash into their secret Luxembourg bank accounts. Prosecutors similarly accused Alaskan plastic surgeon Michael D. Brandner of driving from Alaska to Central America with five cashier’s checks worth over $3 million. According to Dr. Brandner’s September 17, 2013 indictment, Dr. Brandner had driven to Central America with the cashier’s checks to hide assets due his wife because of a divorce.
- b) Other Asset Concealment Methods
Your high-net-worth spouse with hidden assets can employ a variety of methods to conceal assets at the time of your divorce. Your spouse may convert assets to cash, buy diamonds, then travel to an offshore tax haven. Next, your spouse may stash the diamonds in a safety deposit box at a bank in the offshore tax haven. If your spouse owns businesses, your spouse may hide marital assets / community property by commingling them with business assets. This can make it harder for you to detect your spouse’s assets and valuate your marital estate at your divorce.
Your spouse may also wash hidden assets by engaging in trade-based money laundering. Although there are different trade-based money laundering schemes, these schemes always use trade transactions to disguise the true origin of funds. Additionally, trade-based laundering often involves secretly transferring value across international borders. Your spouse may facilitate a trade-based laundering scheme by: over-invoicing or under-invoicing goods or services, shipping a commodity to a buyer although there is no economic benefit, misrepresenting the fair market value of goods or services, etc.
If you are in a high-net-worth marriage and you suspect your wealthy spouse has hidden assets from you, Attorney Fred L. Abrams may be able to help you. Fred L. Abrams is a “find hidden assets lawyer”. Attorney Abrams may be able to detect assets your spouse concealed because of your divorce or your divorce elsewhere. Additionally, Attorney Abrams might be able to employ different legal tools to interdict the hidden assets on your behalf. This can be true even if your spouse placed these assets beyond your reach, in an offshore tax haven.
How to Find Hidden Assets in a Divorce
Finding hidden assets in a divorce can sometimes be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. You might even be tempted to try to perform your own investigation of your spouse’s assets. Similarly, you may want to hire a private investigator on your own, to research your spouse. Meanwhile, in most cases the best practice is to first speak with a lawyer who may help you detect hidden assets or other places across the globe. Why? If you or your private investigator illegally obtain evidence of hidden assets, this evidence could conceivably be suppressed by the Court during your divorce. Furthermore, there have even been divorce cases where private investigators supplied bogus bank account information to one spouse about the other spouse.
Moreover, an attorney like Fred L. Abrams, may be able to do more than just identify your spouse’s hidden assets and other places. Such an attorney may also be able to interdict your spouse’s hidden assets. This can be true even if your spouse parked assets in Swiss banks or other banks located in offshore tax havens. Are you going through a high-net-worth divorce? Do you think your spouse hid assets from you during your divorce or right before? Is your spouse hampering your ability to valuate your marital property / your community property? Let a “finding hidden assets attorney” help you identify marital assets and /or help you negotiate the best possible divorce settlement given your particular circumstances. Contact Fred L. Abrams, Attorney at Law, a lawyer who can assist your effort to find hidden assets and other places across the globe.
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