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Hiding Money, Income, and Assets


Summary:  Always make full disclosure of your income, your assets, and your debts. Nondisclosure and misrepresentation can usually be caught by using formal discovery. Show a nondisclosure problem created by the other party by preparing a summary exhibit as is shown on this site. The exhibit should show the mismatch between what is disclosed and what the apparent truth is.  Hiding money can subject you to jail and fines.


Hiding Money, Property, Debt, or Income in Colorado

Attorney fees, fines, and jail time may be assessed for failing to properly disclose.

Even so, some people hide money and other assets so that they can keep all of it. And self-employed people sometimes claim to make much less money than they actually are making. So that they will pay less child support and/or maintenance (alimony.)

Often you end up at a contested divorce trial if money is being hidden and attorney fees can be awarded to the innocent party.

How Can You “Catch” The Other Party’s Failure to Properly Disclose?

Formal discovery can be used to obtain copies of bank records, obtain written responses to specific questions, and conduct oral depositions. Often hidden money and understated income can be estimated by adding expenditures and noting the difference between expenditures and disclosed income. It is generally not difficult.

The hiding or wasting of money before or during the pendency of a divorce can be identified by looking at earlier bank and investment account statements. Add up the amounts of “disappearing” money. Such as savings account withdrawals, IRA and retirement plan withdrawals, and withdrawals from investment accounts.

Summarize the transfers of money on a single page exhibit. Show that the other party cannot account for the money. Show income by showing known expenditures.

Case study: In one particular hearing, I added up all of the other party’s income and investment withdrawals. For trial, prepared a summary Exhibit similar to the example in Chapter 30. In a 4 month period just prior to the filing of the divorce petition, approximately $27,000 was missing. The judge charged that party for the amount of wasted and unaccounted for money. Other orders appeared to take into account the attempted deception on the court. The hearing turned out to be a financial disaster for the other party.

Case Study:   In a different case, the other party was caught hiding about $22,000 in “hidden” bank accounts. The judge compensated for that mistake.  The result was that the failure to disclose cost the other party a great deal of money plus a substantial amount of attorney fees.

In both case studies, the divorce was already a financial disaster for both spouses. The hiding and wasting of money only made the problem much worse.

GIF The material on this web site is for informational purposes only. This law firm practices only in Colorado. An attorney-client relationship is established only when an agreement as to the scope of representation and fees has been signed and a retainer paid. Colorado law may consider these web site materials to be attorney advertising. GIF
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