“The more you have, the more you stand to lose.” That adage is particularly true when it comes to divorce, and a lot of well-heeled spouses are very aware of the fact that they could lose a significant portion of their assets in a marital split.
Consequently, there are companies out there that are perfectly happy to help them hide what they can. These “asset protection planners” offer plenty of advice and tips for anyone who is looking to put their money out of reach.
Some of the most common ways that people shift money from the marital accounts include:
- Opening a shell company and hiring a strawman to act as the company’s nominal head and then transferring marital funds into those company accounts.
- Setting up an offshore trust and funding it in a way that obscures the origination of the funds and hides the true ownership.
- Taking out lines of credit on existing properties and investments, essentially draining them of their actual value while shuffling the money into hidden accounts.
- Withdrawing sums of cash from accounts, investments, credit cards and more and asking a close friend or relative to hold onto the cash (particularly if they can do so in another country).
- Purchasing and reselling property in ways that make it possible to show a loss (while quietly pocketing the actual proceeds).
- Hiding money in non-traditional investments, like Bitcoin, in hopes that it will all go undetected in a search.
If your spouse has taken a sudden interest in finance, cryptocurrency or offshore “investments,” you need to be cautious. Your spouse may be gearing up to ask you for a divorce, with no intention of giving you a fair split of the assets.