Most will have read or heard of celebrity divorce cases in the news reaching toxic levels because of one party hiding assets from their ex-spouse. It could easily happen in similar high-net-worth splits that don't consume the same press coverage, revealed Daryl Weinman, founding partner of Weinman & Associates, P.C. —
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In an interview this week, Weinman of the Austin, TX-based firm said she often encounters cases where a client's ex tries to hide assets to achieve an unequal split and gain an unfair advantage.
In the court's eyes, a judge will want to deliver a fair and transparent conclusion for both parties, but if one side chooses to
seek an unfair advantage, that could have consequences for them further down the track.
She said: "Usually, you will find one person has a greater understanding of the couple's financial affairs and can, in some circumstances, try to influence a settlement that on the whole is more in their favor. This can lead to the other spouse being pressured into an early settlement without legal help, and may well not be suitable."
Here, Weinman has outlined "red flags" that spouses need to look out for if they believe that not all the assets in a divorce are being fully declared. They should not only seek advice from a skilled divorce attorney but raise these issues as soon as possible before the case gains momentum.
If an ex-spouse becomes aware of large sums of money being withdrawn from accounts, a high degree of spending from their ex on high-net-worth gifts, or if the money is disappearing into other accounts, then this can be construed as being suspicious enough for an attorney to investigate.
Weinman recounted how some ex-spouses, to avoid declaring high-net-worth assets, may transfer property into a child's or close associate's name to avoid being taken into account. Suspicious movements of money into a family of friends' accounts for 'debts' that are cleared off but were never known about, or 'cash gifts' that occur shortly before or during divorce
proceedings are likely to draw further investigation.
More brazenly, a client locked out of joint accounts due to a change in password or funds being funnelled into other accounts also indicate suspicious activity.
These can revolve around an ex-spouse's lifestyle bordering on the insolvent and unable to pay for things, such as child allowances. Similarly, they may well try to undervalue their business empire, if they have one, in a bid to reduce a court settlement.
Weinman concluded that someone who suspects foul play or fraud in financial issues should seek their divorce attorney's guidance as quickly as possible.
Name: Daryl Weinman
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Organization: Weinman & Associates, P.C.
Address: 8200 N Mopac Expy #230, Austin, TX 78759
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