Monday, December 10, 2012


The term “metals” is used by husbands who acquire gold and silver as assets.  They refer to the gold and silver as “metals”.  I have noticed at an alarming rate the value of “metals” in divorces are undervalued by the husband (who is in possession of the asset) and the wife does not have any tangible evidence (receipts, handwritten balances by husband, pictures, etc.) of the true value of the metals.  During the marriage, the husband will convince the wife the “metals” are for their retirement, the metals are safe and secure, and for the wife to trust the husband in acquiring and safeguarding the “metals.”  Normally the wife will trust her husband in doing so.  The husband will tell the wife that the "metals" are worth a million dollars or two million dollars, whatever their true market value, and the wife feels secure based on the knowledge that their retirement is funded.  However, the problem occurs during their divorce when the husband will claim the metals are only worth one-tenth of their true value (for example, stating the value at only $100,000.00 or $200,000.00) while the wife does not have any proof of the true value.  One reason people invest in “metals” is if you buy in increments of less than $10,000.00 at a time, the government is not notified of the purchase and there is minimum to no recordkeeping of the purchase, and therefore the transactions are easily hidden from the IRS for tax purposes, and from the wife during the divorce for division of asset purposes.  Tracking "metals" may be difficult because they are not always paid for via check, where you can subpoena the bank records and itemize the checks to demonstrate the value of the purchases.  Often, "metals" are obtained by cash or traded for by other "metals" or other assets.  Therefore, it is very important, if you are a wife, and your husband has “metals” for retirement, that you obtain in his handwriting or a typewritten statement signed by him (and preferably notarized) describing the true quantity and type of metals and their fair market value on that date.  Or if your husband refuses, then attempt to obtain one-half of the "metals" to keep in your possession and let him keep one-half in his possession.  If your husband is refusing to do any of these, then you know his true intent.  Again, it is at an alarming rate the amount of “metals” that I have seen involved in divorces in the last 24 months versus the last 25 years (when it was very rare.)  Now it is almost a common event that “metals” are involved and the wife does not have proof of the value and the husband claims the value is nothing what he had informed the wife.  So, if you find yourself in this position, it is important to immediately have a consultation with a Board Certified Marital Attorney and develop a plan, usually involving a private investigator, to have your husband make certain admissions to the value of the "metals" so you have a third party (private investigator) who can testify to the admissions of your husband as to the value of the metals.