Unfortunately, the divorce process does not always go smoothly. When emotions are high, and money is at stake, a spouse may sometimes try to hide assets to avoid paying child support or sharing marital property.
Even though this is illegal, concealing financial information is a common occurrence in divorce cases. When your marital estate involves significant assets and income, you need a comprehensive picture of your holdings.
Uncovering hidden assets
If you think your spouse is concealing certain assets, you must take steps to discover your complete financial picture. Look for red flags in your tax returns by examining business profit and loss statements, itemized deductions and capital gains information. Review your mortgage documents to find details about assets and income. Check over your joint bank accounts or credit card statements for unusual or unexplained activity.
Understanding some of the tricks
A divorcing spouse can hide money in various ways. Be aware of red flags and potential issues, such as:
- Suddenly owing a large sum of money to a friend or family member
- Complaining of a pay cut at work
- Opening joint bank accounts with your young children
- Getting travelers’ checks
- Overpaying creditors or tax bills
- Purchasing expensive gifts for a relative or friend
- Obtaining valuable antiques or collectibles
Look for safety deposit boxes, retirement accounts, savings bonds, and other holdings. There are professional services and court discovery processes available to help you.
Take an inventory of your financial documents and assets as soon as possible when considering a divorce. Having an accurate record of your finances helps you avoid becoming a victim of hidden marital property.