Going through a divorce is enough of a pain without feeling like you cannot trust your spouse to honestly report their assets. Unfortunately, this is the exact situation that hundreds of divorcing individuals deal with every year.
What happens if you notice some potential red flags that might indicate your spouse trying to hide assets? Why should you take action if you believe they are doing this?
Why do spouses hide assets?
Forbes talks about dealing with hidden assets during a divorce. First of all, why do spouses hide assets in the first place? The reasons greatly differ from person to person and situation to situation. Some genuinely feel they will lose too much to keep up with their current lifestyle. Others simply wish to spite their ex-spouse by denying them their share of assets.
Next, how do spouses hide assets? Again, the tactics vary widely. Some pretend to pay fake employees, collecting the checks separately. Others pretend to repay debts to family members or friends with the intention of getting the money after the finalization of the divorce. Others will hide physical cash in safe locations at home or work.
Why should you act?
Third, why should you care if a spouse is hiding assets? In short, this will potentially deprive you of your fair share of asset division. Not every state will divide things equally. Some divide things equitably instead. However, all states ensure that each spouse has a fair share of the joint assets. If a spouse hides their assets, they could get out of giving you your rightful share of money, inheritance, property, or physical items. They could even get out of paying you the proper amount of child or spousal support.
Thus, if you notice any potential red flags, you may want to bring it up with your attorney to see what they suggest as your next move.