If you’re getting divorced and your spouse is the one who typically handles the family finances, it’s important to ask yourself if you think they would attempt to hide assets from you.
Marital assets are supposed to be split up properly, in accordance with state law. Hiding them to avoid this division is illegal. Even so, it still happens, so you want to know the signs that there’s something underhanded happening.
How people hide money and assets from their spouses
There are numerous ways that people try to hide assets. Some are small-scale, just moving hundreds of dollars or perhaps a few thousand. Other schemes are massive, moving tens of thousands of dollars or hiding entire investment portfolios. Here are a few ways people do it:
- Overpaying credit card companies or even the IRS, then getting a refund check after the divorce
- Giving money away and calling it a loan, when the handshake deal with their friend or relative really says the other party will hold the cash and return the money later
- Expanding or lying about debts, loans that are due or business expenses
- Transferring personal assets to a business
- Simply “failing” to remember exclusive accounts, such as bank accounts or investment accounts, that their spouse doesn’t even know exists
- Buying undervalued items and then selling them after the split for a profit
- Asking an employer to delay bonuses, raises or other forms of income until the divorce is over
- Taking small withdrawals from ATMs and putting the money in a safe deposit box
These are just a few examples, but they help show you how easy and common this practice is. If you think your spouse is doing this and violating your rights, you must understand your legal options. An experienced divorce attorney can help you go after everything you are rightfully due, even if your spouse is playing financial games.