California residents who are considering a divorce may want to learn more about potential financial fraud issues that can arise. While there are various forms of financial fraud, not all of them are necessarily easy to uncover.

One of the forms of financial fraud that can be especially pernicious is known as dissipation. This can occur when one of the parties to a marriage knowingly exhausts assets without their spouse’s consent. Asset destruction, excessive spending and even negligent maintenance of property can all, under certain circumstances, be construed as dissipation. An attorney representing the aggrieved party in a divorce may take acts of dissipation into account during negotiations for asset redistribution.

Though dissipation does happen, outright asset concealment is likely more readily recognizable as financial fraud. Asset concealment can take many forms, but the primary goal in all of them is to hinder the division of assets in a divorce. Whether done through unfunded trusts, hidden safe deposit boxes or shell corporations, it’s often necessary to thoroughly investigate a spouses’ financial portfolio in order to find assets they have attempted to hide.

If someone involved in property division during divorce suspects that their spouse is concealing assets, they may wish to bring their concerns to their attorney. In some cases, it will be necessary to enlist the services of a forensic accountant who can analyze the situation at hand and try to determine whether a valid case for concealment can be made. Since the successful concealment of assets can potentially prevent someone from receiving what they are entitled to after a divorce, it is important to be sure that both parties make accurate and complete disclosures of their respective financial portfolios.