For your divorce to be fair, your assets must be fully disclosed and honest. Nobody wants to believe their spouse is hiding anything on top of going through the divorce itself, but it does happen, and it’s important to understand and be on the lookout for signs that your spouse may be hiding assets during your divorce. If your spouse successfully hides assets, it can have a negative impact on what you are awarded in the divorce because the hidden assets are unknown and unable to be divided correctly.
Signs Your Spouse May Be Hiding Assets During Your Divorce
Divorces can be long, grueling processes with complex situations in each case. Dividing assets and making major financial decisions in court can take a long time, and one spouse might hide valuable assets to avoid splitting them in the divorce. We’ve compiled signs to look for during your divorce so you can protect yourself and your future after.
Maintaining Complete Control
With a desire to completely control bank account information and passwords and acting secretive or defensive, your spouse may be hiding something. You deserve to know as much as your spouse does about your financial situation and have the right to access joint accounts during your divorce. If something feels off by their domineering attitude, listen to your gut.
Changing Information on Accounts
To keep you and the court from accessing information about assets, your spouse might change the mailing address on accounts or statements to save them from showing up at your joint home. Similarly, they may open a post office box with the same strategy to keep statements and information from getting into your hands.
If a spouse suddenly starts spending more than usual, they may try to drain assets and convert them into possessions. For instance, you may notice a savings account, a piece of real estate, or a random investment you knew nothing about. Your spouse might try to drain the account, sell the asset, or use the cash to buy items that are more difficult to track (like art, jewelry, or clothes).
By overpaying taxes, credit cards, or loan payments, they can create a way to redirect hidden marital or separate funds. This means that once the divorce is over, your spouse will owe less on their post-divorce assets.
You may notice your spouse giving lavish “gifts” to friends, family, or even a new lover. This might be an attempt to remove assets from marital or separate accounts they don’t want you to know about. The family member, friend, or new partner might hold on to the asset and return it to your spouse once the divorce is final.
Traveling Out of the Country
You should investigate if you notice your spouse making frequent trips to countries with more relaxed banking laws or dealing with banks overseas. You or your attorney can send a subpoena to any bank you suspect your spouse has an account with and receive all the records under your spouse’s name. Taking trips out of the country can also move assets to places that are harder to discover.
Paying Unknown Loans
Your spouse may completely fabricate the existence of new loans to siphon money out of joint accounts or separate accounts you know about.
Making Changes to Their Business
If your spouse owns a business, you should look out for any attempts made by your spouse to conceal the business’ assets or income so it cannot be accurately accounted for during the divorce; they might reconfigure the whole corporate structure, suddenly start buying and selling things, or change how they operate the business. Additionally, if a once thriving business suddenly experiences a downturn during the divorce, there is reason to suspect it as intentional as a way to shield income from the divorce.
Unusual Business Expenses
Your spouse can fabricate new or unusual business expenses, not seeking reimbursement for expenses from their employer, and then hold on to receipts to seek reimbursement once the divorce is over. This is a way to keep the funds from even being considered or divided in the divorce.
Open a Brand New Business
Opening a new business can offer an opportunity to redirect assets and create losses, which changes their true net worth and allows them to get more in the divorce.
Kern County Divorce Lawyers By Your Side
If you find yourself suspecting your spouse of hiding assets after reading some of these signs mentioned, it is in your best interest to talk to your divorce attorney as soon as possible. Azemika Law is here for you, with our practice devoted to family law for 28 years. We efficiently handle cases involving divorce, dissolutions of partnerships, child custody and visitations, abandonment, and adoptions. Serving all of Kern County, we want you to have the opportunity to make informed decisions from the best position possible for your future.
Contact us today, and let us help you protect yourself and your assets. Don’t let your spouse take advantage of you. We’re here to help.