If you’re dealing with a divorce in California, hidden assets may be on your mind. It’s helpful to learn about what they are and where you might find them.
What are hidden assets?
Hidden assets are money and other financially valuable properties that aren’t disclosed during divorce negotiations. Contrary to popular belief, not all hidden assets are evidence of skullduggery on the part of the person to whom they belong. Some people simply forget about paper assets acquired long ago.
Discovering where the hidden assets reside
Where are the most hidden assets uncovered? As always, it depends on the case and the couple’s financial situation. However, there are four common property vehicles that every divorcee should explore.
Restricted stock units
Restricted stocks are a type of deferred compensation popular in the finance and startup worlds. There are myriad ways to structure these types of deals, but they’re usually tied to years of service or some other business milestone. If issued during the marriage, restricted stock options might qualify as joint property.
Active members of the military and retired veterans enjoy various benefits. In many cases, civilian spouses cannot retain these benefits after divorce, but exceptions exist. If your soon-to-be-ex served for at least 20 years, and you were married for at least 20 years of their service, then you may be entitled to retain certain benefits.
Pension and other employment funds
Divorce lawyers may find assets hiding in pensions and other employment funds. Your spouse might have received additional compensation in the form of retirement reserves, bonuses, and specialized investment and savings accounts.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies
In recent years, bitcoin and other digital currencies have become popular investment assets and, due to their cryptographic security, a great way to hide money. However, many cryptocurrencies are traceable and can be divided between parties.
Building an accurate financial map during divorce negotiations is essential. Your future may depend on it, so when hammering out a settlement, make sure to look under every potential stone for hidden assets.