A recent article in the Huffington Post discusses clues that should set off alarm bells about whether one spouse is hiding money in preparation for a divorce.
People have special motivation to hide income and assets during a divorce in an attempt to avoid paying higher child support or alimony. One positive note is that hidden income can always be uncovered and the spouse who’s been kept out of the loop can eventually reclaim his or her rightful share.
If you’re afraid that your spouse may be hiding money consult with an experienced alimony lawyer in Charlotte, North Carolina to make sure that a search would be worth your time and expense. After all, forensic accountants can be quite costly so you’ll have to weigh whether the amount is worth chasing after.
Some important warning signs to watch for include the following:
1. If your spouse is self-employed and more knowledgeable about the family finances than you are and has expressed strong feelings about not involving lawyers or financial planners in your divorce.
2. Compare your lifestyle with your reported income. If there is a mismatch, further investigation is likely needed.
3. Look at the ratio of living expenses to income. If a mortgage payment is 75 percent of the reported income, it’s a good bet that there is hidden income floating around somewhere.
4. Pay attention to whether a business owner has multiple tax entities that do not seem to be necessary.
5. Are there any unusual business expenses? If a business is showing expenses that have nothing to do with the work they do it might be time to more fully analyze the books.
If the above warning signs sound alarm bells in your head then it might be time to take action. Here are some things you might do:
1. Hire a private investigator. While private investigators can be expensive, they are useful in obtaining physical observations or documentary support to confirm your suspicions.
2. Dig through the garbage. A surprising amount of information can be found by those looking to find hidden income simply by going through the trash.
3. Search for hidden files. Hidden income may be hard to find but real numbers exist somewhere. Flipping through folders or computer files might present an unexpected treasure trove of information.
If you find yourself facing the prospect of divorce, you need to contact an experienced child support lawyer in Charlotte, North Carolina who can help guide you through the confusing process.
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