If there was distrust during your marriage, there is probably distrust during your divorce. While probably no one wants to experience this negative and often uncertain feeling, it may be there for a good reason.
Sometimes one spouse tries to take advantage of a situation by hiding assets during a marriage or during a divorce. This is illegal and unethical because undisclosed assets can prevent a spouse from receiving their fair share of marital property during divorce.
Not every marital situation that involves distrust also involves hidden assets. However, hidden assets are more common than many people realize.
How could a spouse hide assets?
It can be difficult for a spouse to hide assets when both spouses are actively involved in their family’s finances. However, in many households only one spouse manages the family’s financial responsibilities, which can make it easier for them to try to hide assets when the relationship sours.
Fortunately, many spouses who attempt to hide assets do so in a predictable way. If the other spouse understands how assets are typically hidden, they may be able to bring the assets to light.
Common ways spouses try to hide assets, include:
- Purchasing items that are likely to be undervalued
- Stashing cash somewhere
- Underreporting income on financial statements
- Overpaying taxes or bills with the intention of receiving a refund later
- Deferring salary, bonuses or raises
- Creating fake debts
- Setting up a financial account in a child’s name
- Transferring assets to family or friends
- Paying expenses for a new love interest
- Investing in bonds with no interest
If you are going through divorce and you believe your spouse could have hidden assets, it may be beneficial to share your concerns with your divorce team. There may be a variety of ways to uncover the truth.