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Can The Court Require You To Sell A Business?

The court can do anything it wants to, since it has the jurisdiction to do that. If there is one person that wants to keep the family business, the court would take the same attitude and say, “That’s fine, Mr. Brown, you can keep the business but you are going to pay your wife this much out of the business.” He might do that as alimony payments or maybe give her more out of the equity in the house or maybe more out of his 401(k) or something like that but maybe typically the court wants to keep intact assets that people want to keep.

How Often Do People Try to Hide Assets In a Divorce?

It’s very common. I wish it wasn’t because everything would be easier if everybody came to the table with clean hands and clean hearts and said, “Let’s play fair,” and yes, a lot of times that is not the case.

What Are the Consequences of Hiding Assets in a Divorce?

If they’re hiding assets and it’s apparent that they’re hiding assets from the court, then that person is going to have a very bad day in court. That’s a situation when I’m glad that I’m in a state like Georgia and the court can say, “Mrs. Jones, because you’ve been hiding money from your husband and you did not reveal this bank account on purpose, I am going to punish you therefore and I’m going to give all of that bank account contents to your husband,” and again, that’s a very simplified example.

What Are the Ways in Which People Hide Assets During A Divorce?

There are some really stupid ways like sometimes people think it’s a good idea to maybe take property and transfer it to their mother’s name, like the piece of real property. Things that are just stupid like that, and that’s very easily detected and that’s a fraudulent conveyance the court can just set aside.

Typically it’s more likely to take effect with creative accounting; cash is very easy hide. If you happen to be in a cash based business where it’s easy to do that, then it’s easy to get money and to hide it. If that’s the case and you’ve got somebody that just routinely spends large amounts of cash but they’re saying on paper that they make $30,000 a year, then if you’re not able to do all the tracing, then really what you would just need to do at that point is argue to the court that “This person’s lifestyle does not support $30,000 a year income.”

There can also be lots of different accounts that people can put money into and open up accounts that their spouse don’t know about or sometimes they’ll give it to third parties to hide for them, like family members or girlfriends, boyfriends, we’ve seen that kind of ugliness go on.

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