Tactics a Spouse May Use to Hide Assets During a Divorce

You may have the impression that only the very rich have to be concerned about spouses hiding assets during a divorce. Unfortunately, spouses of any income level may act dishonestly during the divorce process in an attempt to conceal assets. Moreover, the variety of property and assets most average couples have amassed makes it relatively easy for such behavior to be overlooked if the victim-spouse is not alert.

Indications that your spouse may be hiding assets include: he or she is secretive about finances or likes to maintain complete control of all accounts, your spouse deletes information from financial programs on the computer, he or she is demanding when trying to get you to sign tax or financial documents, your spouse purchases large items which may be sold later, he or she reports a dramatic drop in the value of investments, or your spouse unnecessarily opens separate banking accounts. When your spouse runs a small business or professional practice you should also look at changes in revenue or expense patterns, and any large recent business purchases.

Generally, such actions aim to hide income, undervalue assets or overstate debt. The goal of the spouse engaging in such behavior is for funds or property to be left out of the division of assets in the divorce settlement.

If you suspect your spouse may be hiding assets don’t be ashamed, you are not alone. Legal and financial professionals can investigate and advocate on your behalf to help ensure you receive your fair share of the marital assets.

Source: Forbes, 21 Signs That Your Husband May Be Hiding Marital Assets During Your Divorce, Jeff Landers, 20 March 2012

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