You might never have imagined that you would be worried about your spouse hiding assets, but a divorce can bring out the worst in some. The laws of the state of residency are supposed to divide property and that division depends on an honest and forthright disclosure of financial dealings and assets. If you suspect that your spouse might try and hang on to property that should be disclosed, read on and learn the signs of hiding assets.
Hidden Assets: Signs to Watch For
- Attitude can be a sign of hidden assets. If your spouse becomes defensive or angry when you ask about assets, they might be trying to hide them.
- Spending habits should be examined, particularly if a change has occurred. Spouses with hidden assets may be spending more money than they appear to have. If they are sporting designer goods, expensive cars, taking lavish trips, etc., where the money is coming from is a legitimate concern. Expensive gifts for you should also be suspect.
- Business owners may be able to get away with fudging on divorce income disclosures, especially if they are in a cash-rich business. Be wary if your spouse owns a business. It may be necessary to hire a forensic accountant to delve into the finances of the company to determine true profit. Since child support, spousal support, and property and debt divisions are based on income, it may be worth it to subpoena your spouse's business or personal financial records.
- Be on the lookout for access-denied situations. If you previously were able to access online accounts but now find your access cut off, be very suspicious. You may not deserve access to the personal and business accounts of your spouse, but joint accounts, retirement accounts, and investment accounts are another matter. Many spouses don't realize that retirement savings in a 401(k) are marital property. Even if you did not contribute to an account held by your spouse's employer, any funds added since the date of your marriage are considered marital property.
- Maybe you've noticed that your spouse is spending a lot more time away from home on business or personal trips. That can also be signs of an affair and that might or might not be pertinent to your divorce. However, the money being spent using credit cards and more may be from a marital asset.
- Perhaps you cannot access a previously open file or desk drawer. If you are not able to access the files or you notice that files are now missing, your spouse may be attempting to hide assets.
These are only a few of the many signs that may call for more scrutiny as your divorce proceeds. Speak to a family law attorney to find out more.