If you suspect a divorce or separation is in your near future, things between you and your spouse may have already reached an acrimonious level. You may suspect that he or she is attempting to hide assets ahead of the split, and you may well be right. Many people prep for divorce by trying to get themselves in a strong financial standing, and they may do so by ethical or unethical means. If you believe your spouse is hiding property or assets in an effort to minimize what will ultimately have to be split between you, be on the lookout for:
Notable withdrawals from bank accounts
While keeping close track of your finances and bank accounts is something of a no-brainer, simply moving funds from one account to another – often at an entirely separate institution – is among the more common methods today’s married couples use to try to conceal assets from one another. Your spouse might also try to have bank statements and related communications sent to a place of business or an address other than your home to avoid you intercepting and reviewing them.
Selling or giving away assets
If your spouse is planning to leave you, he or she may try to unload assets to a trusted family member or friend. Say your spouse sells a boat to a close friend. During divorce proceedings, that boat will no longer come into play, and your spouse and that “friend” may have an existing plan in place where the asset can be repurchased or reclaimed once the divorce is finalized.
A failure to send invoices or receive payment in a timely manner
Depending on your spouse’s scope of work, he or she may try to conceal assets by intentionally putting off receiving them until after divorce proceedings are finalized. This might be done by failing to invoice a client in a timely manner or failing to pursue payment for work already performed until after the divorce is completed.
Overpayments to the Internal Revenue Service
Yet another manner in which your spouse may try to conceal assets involves intentionally paying too much in taxes one year or overpaying estimated taxes for the year ahead with the hope that the amount of the overpayment will not come back until after the divorce – and therefore not have to be shared.
These are among some of the more common ways spouses try to hide assets from one another ahead of a divorce. If you suspect your spouse may be taking these or other steps to reduce the amount that must be split between you, you may consider enlisting the aid of an attorney.