Is Your Spouse Hiding Assets?
Some spouses have been known to hide assets before or during the divorce process to avoid splitting them with their x. However, divorcing spouses can use discovery tools to help find any hidden marital assets.
How Your Spouse Could Be Hiding Assets
There are a few ways your spouse could be hiding assets from you:
- purchasing antiques or artwork: a spouse could convert cash into some sort of valuable artifact and then under-report the value of the object.
- delayed raises, bonuses, or stock options: any of these monetary awards given before a divorce are considered marital property. A spouse may try to delay such awards until after the divorce is finalized to avoid giving you a share.
- unreported income: if you have noticed that your spouse has been living above your means or always seems to have a lot of cash, they could be stashing away extra income and not reporting it on taxes.
- custodial accounts: your spouse could set up custodial accounts in the names of your children to hide money from you during the divorce.
- debt repayment: if your spouse has a debt, they could use their savings to pay it off. They could also make up a debt that needs to be paid to a friend or family member and then “hold” until the divorce is finalized.
- salary for a nonexistent employee: if your spouse owns a business, they could put assets into a made-up employee’s account.
- fraudulent payments: a spouse could pay for fake services or products to friends or family members.
- delays in signing long-term business contracts: a new business contract could create money for a business that your spouse may not want to share with you. If your spouse delays signing any new business contracts until after the divorce is finalized, it could be construed as hiding assets.
- Paid expenses for a lover: it could be considered hidden assets if your spouse purchases gifts, rent, travel arrangements, or college tuition for an extramarital lover.
How to Uncover Hidden Assets
If you have noticed any of the above examples, or anything else, suspicious, you may way to consider investigating your spouse’s finances.
You can uncover hidden assets in the following ways:
- hire a private investigator: a PI can follow your spouse to find out where they go when they think no one is looking.
- hire a forensic accountant: a forensic accountant can help trace bank accounts and determine where income has been going.
- ask your spouse for copies of financial records: if your spouse has something to hide, they could be unwilling to grant you this information. If they refuse, your attorney could demand the records.
- requests for admission: your spouse must answer questions in writing or admit statements you believe to be true.
- inspection demands: you can inspect property, such as a safe deposit box or art collection.
- testimony given under oath: this is referred to as an oral deposition; your spouse is sworn to tell the truth and must answer questions asked by your attorney.
Dale L. Bernstein, Chartered Law Office Will Investigate for You
If you believe your spouse is hiding assets from you, we can help. Our attorney has extensive forensic accounting experience and can help you uncover anything your spouse may be hiding.
Contact our firm online or call us at (727) 312-1112 for a case evaluation.