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Billionaire's wife accuses him of hiding assets in divorce

When the time comes to divide assets and property in a divorce, it can be tempting for the spouse who has more to lose to hide certain earnings so they aren't lost to the soon-to-be ex. This is neither recommended nor legal, but that doesn't stop some from trying.

The wife of a Russian billionaire has filed a lawsuit alleging that her husband's purchase of an $88 million apartment for their 22-year-old daughter is an attempt to hide his considerable assets in their divorce.

The apartment made headlines last year for being the most expensive residential property in New York. The billionaire, named one of the top 100 richest people in the world, said it would be their daughter's home while she attended college. But according to papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, their daughter isn't attending school in New York. A representative of the daughter said she plans to stay in the apartment when she visits the city.

The billionaire's wife has accused him of going on a non-stop spending spree since he filed for divorce in 2009. In addition to the apartment, he's bought shares in a Monaco football club and Donald Trump's Palm Beach mansion, and continues to maintain a penthouse in Monaco he bought for more than $300 million. His wife got a court order freezing his assets in Geneva and is seeking a transfer of ownership of the former Trump mansion and half of all his assets.

You and your spouse may not have billions of dollars to argue over, but hiding assets in a divorce is common across all income brackets. It's highly illegal, not to mention unethical, but it can happen in Texas or any other state. To protect yourself and learn more about what's up for grabs when it comes to property and asset division, talk to your divorce attorney.

Source: Forbes, "Russian Billionaire's $88M 'Plot' To Hide His Money, Says Wife," Caroline Howard, March 15, 2012

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