As you move toward a divorce, you know that your spouse isn’t supposed to be hiding assets. It’s prohibited. What will actually happen is that the court will ask you for a full disclosure of the assets you own, and you are expected to tell them about everything so that they can properly apply the property division laws to your case.
Of course, people do often hide assets to try to keep them from their spouse. There are complicated ways to do this, such as transferring money into overseas investment accounts or shell companies. But the average person will usually try some very simple tactics that should be fairly easy to uncover if you believe your spouse is considering this.
Putting assets in a safe deposit box
One tactic people use is simply to remove assets from the house – or financial accounts – and put them in a safe deposit box they don’t tell their spouse about. For instance, your spouse may have been getting cash back with their ATM card every time they go to the grocery store. They’re hoping you don’t notice those withdrawals while stashing the money on the side.
Giving money to a friend
Another example of how people do this is when they give away their money. For instance, they could make up an excuse about how they owe one of their friends $10,000 for a debt they forgot about. But they’re actually just giving their friend $10,000 to hold until the divorce is over when they plan to get it back. Some people will even transfer major assets, such as real estate.
If you believe your spouse is going to do this, it’s crucial that you know exactly what legal steps you can take during the divorce process.