Splitting assets during divorce is like a game. Each side wants to win and neither party wants to feel like the other side cheated. Unfortunately, some individuals may try to hide assets when it comes to the property division process.
Cheating a party out of their fair share of marital assets is a dirty move and illegal. You need to be aware of the ways your spouse may try to hide assets to protect your life after divorce.
How to spot hidden assets
Is your soon-to-be ex hiding assets? How can you tell if your spouse is hiding assets? These are complicated questions that need answers. Your financial portfolio may include a variety of accounts that include your primary residence, retirement plans, stock, life insurance, vacation properties and even a business. The more complex your portfolio is, the more difficult it can be to manage these accounts when it comes to your divorce settlement.
The first step to take is to analyze your marital living expenses and account for all sources of income. Then evaluate your monthly and yearly budget for any discrepancies, which may be a sign that your spouse is hiding assets. Some of the common signs of hidden assets include:
- Your living expenses are higher than the reported income by your spouse during negotiations
- Money is deposited in a safe deposit box or outside of a bank and not reported during negotiations
- Underreported income on tax returns or other financial statements
- Undervalued items that were recently purchased by your spouse
- Overpayment to the IRS or creditors
- Deferment of salary or holding commissions until after the divorce is finalized
- Report of false debt
- Transfer of stock
- Creation of a custodial bank account in the name of your children or someone else
You have the right to receive your fair share of marital assets. This is why you need to be familiar with the different ways your spouse may try to hide assets so you can address this issue head on during settlement negotiations.
Asset division is just one part of your divorce, but it can affect your future in so many ways. If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets or you just want to have a plan in place to address the potential issue, working with an experienced divorce attorney is the first step you should take.