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It is not uncommon for one spouse attempt to hide community property assets, or to cause a community property business he/she is in control of to appear to have a decreased value.
The first situation is particularly common where one spouse has been primarily in control of the families' finances, or where both spouses, for one reason or another, have kept "their" respective finances and accounts separate, even though under the law they are community property and thus must be divided evenly. Funds and properties can be hidden by a variety of means, such as holding accounts or title to property in a sibling's or friend's name (often referred to as a fraudulent transfer). Such conduct is a violation the spouses fiduciary duty, and can result in the harmed spouse being awarded well more than his/her ½ community property share of the asset as a punishment to the wrongdoing spouse.
Furthermore, if the wrongdoing spouse is caught lying under penalty of perjury, they can be subject to criminal punishment.
Also as noted, one spouse may also attempt to artificially deflate the value of an asset that contains a community property interest, such as a business. Among several other techniques, accounts can be manipulated to make the company appear to be less profitable than it really is, to cause the business to have false or inflated debts and/or expenses, and/or to postpone and/or hide accounts receivables.
Our divorce attorneys at The Buncher Law Corporation, are experienced in working with leading forensic accountants and business evaluation experts, to identify and properly value community property assets.
Whether you are trying to uncover your ex-spouse's hidden assets, protect your separate property, or prevent the community from taking an unfair portion of your business, our attorneys are here to help you.
Call the divorce and family law lawyers at the Buncher Law Corporation at (949) 398-8720 today to schedule a consultation.
We serve clients throughout Orange County, North San Diego County, Riverside County and Los Angeles County.