During a litigated divorce, both you and your spouse need to disclose your assets to the court. Intentionally hiding assets could lead to legal ramifications, such as being accused of contempt of court. The court needs to know exactly what assets both you and your spouse jointly own so that the property division process can proceed smoothly.
That being said, you may be worried that your spouse is going to try to hide assets anyway. People do this fairly frequently. It can cost you a lot and keep you from getting the property that you rightfully deserve. As such, it’s important to know some of the tactics people use to accomplish the aim of hiding and hoarding marital assets so that you can better identify if your spouse is engaging in this kind of misconduct.
Creating their own accounts
One common tactic is simply to open a secret bank account or even to get a safe deposit box. People will then hide money in these accounts. For instance, maybe your spouse got a raise at work and started sending the extra money to a hidden account, or maybe they started taking money out of an ATM and putting it in a safe deposit box.
Giving money away
Oftentimes, people will try to transfer money out of their name so it doesn’t look like it is a shared asset. For instance, they may claim that they had an old loan from one of their family members that they forgot to pay back. In actuality, their family member will return the money after the divorce.
Finally, it’s important to note that some people try to dissipate assets, rather than hiding them directly. This means that they buy new possessions or spend the money in other ways so that there just isn’t as much available to divide. If this is happening, odds are that your spouse will focus on purchasing things that cannot be refunded, so that that money is gone forever. Maybe they’ll start eating out more often or they’ll begin gambling heavily. Perhaps they’ll take trips around the world, paying for plane tickets and hotels. If they’re intentionally spending the money just so you can’t have a portion of it, this may also be a violation of your rights.
What options do you have?
Financial situations like this can become very complicated very quickly. Make sure you know exactly what options you have to safeguard your rights and interests. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to start.