4 Signs Your Spouse is Hiding Assets

During divorce, many people are tempted to hide their assets so they can end up better off financially than their spouse. They may do this out of spite, or they might just be worried they will not get much money after the marriage ends. Either way, it’s not okay to hide assets, and a forensic accountant will usually find out about this unscrupulous move anyway. You should be familiar with some signs that your spouse plans to hide assets during your divorce so you can alert your New York divorce lawyer.

Signs Your Spouse is Hiding Assets

While the legal system is designed to ensure equitable distribution of assets, some individuals resort to unethical tactics to gain an advantage over their spouse.

1. Your spouse underreports income to the IRS. 

In most cases, tax returns and other official forms are used to analyze finances and divide up assets. It can be hard for you to prove how much money you have with your spouse when he or she does not report it. Your spouse likely knows this, so if you notice this, you can assume he or she plans to keep the unreported income.

2. Your spouse pays more than what he or she owes on bills.

In most cases, he or she will get a refund, but if this move is carefully calculated, the refund will not come until the divorce is over and lawyers are no longer keeping an eye on assets. Similarly, your spouse may not try to get any raises or promotions at work until the divorce is over, since he or she does not want to share the money with you.

3. They become a complete control freak about money

If your spouse has all the passwords and access to your bank accounts, they might be hiding money without telling you. Keep an eye on your online accounts. If you suddenly can’t log in or see your balance, it’s a red flag. If you share a joint account, you should be able to go to the bank and gain access.

4. Some people hide cash in the house, while others invest in items you might not even know about.

Hiding cash may be a literal form of hiding assets, but some spouses are even sneakier and decide to purchase expensive items that you will not notice. For example, purchasing jewelry, antiques, or collector’s items that are small can be an easy way of hiding assets. Most of these are small enough that you will not even take a second look, especially if your spouse hides them in a lockbox. Some people do this so they can sell these expensive items after the divorce, while others just do it to make sure you do not get the money they think should be theirs alone.

5. Using friends and family members to help hide assets is a common scheme.

Your spouse might transfer ownership of a car, account, or stock to a loved one. After the divorce, he or she will simply have it transferred back, keeping you from getting your share. Putting money into the bank account of new significant other is another tactic since you will not have access to that money. Some people even create fake debt with the help of a loved one, increasing the amount of money they get to keep in order to pay their bills.

6. They avoid discussions about finances

If your partner has recently become secretive about money they’ve spent, or altogether attempts to avoid the subject of finances, this is a bad sign. If you’re worried something is wrong, definitely begin reviewing bank statements and see if there are any large amounts of missing money, or multiple micro-transactions going straight to your partner’s other accounts like personal checking, Venmo or PayPal.

What Can I Do if I Suspect My Spouse is Hiding Assets?

If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets, it’s crucial to handle the situation with integrity. By staying within the bounds of the law, you strengthen your position in court. Here are some legal steps you can take:

Pay Attention

Stay vigilant with incoming statements and documents, noting any sudden changes or missing information.

Review Your Joint Account

Monitor joint accounts for unusual withdrawals or frequent smaller transactions that accumulate into significant sums. Keep an eye out for large purchases.

Be Up-To-Date on ETF Accounts

Scrutinize joint electronic fund transfer accounts like PayPal, Venmo or CashApp for any unfamiliar recipients of money.

Acquire Bank Statements

Request copies of all financial records, especially if you’re managing your divorce without legal assistance. Both parties are obligated to disclose financial information accurately, but don’t rely solely on your spouse’s transparency.

Document Findings in a Journal or Google Docs

Maintain a detailed journal documenting your observations and findings to present to your attorney if necessary.

Hire an Attorney

If your spouse refuses to provide necessary documents, seek legal representation. A lawyer can legally compel them to cooperate and provide the required information. Additionally, consult with a divorce attorney if you uncover evidence of hidden assets to explore your legal options thoroughly.

Hiring a New York Divorce Attorney

If you suspect your spouse is using any of these tactics to hide assets, you should come to Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. We can use forensic accounting professionals to identify clues that your spouse is hiding assets. This may allow us to recover any missing assets, ensuring you get the money you deserve after divorce.

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