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Should I worry about my spouse hiding assets?

In divorce when there are high assets at stake, all bets are off. Neither you nor your spouse wants to give up the assets and wealth you have worked so hard to amass and achieve. Now that you and your partner are separating, talk of your finances has become a point of contention, causing you to feel concerned about hidden assets.

It is not uncommon for some spouses to resort to hiding assets and misleading their partners about their finances. This type of behavior is illegal and carries serious legal ramifications. Failure to consider the possibility of hidden assets can go against your best interests and lead to a less than favorable divorce judgment.

Uncovering hidden assets

Fortunately, the courts require both parties in a divorce to provide full financial disclosure. This helps to ensure that all parties in the divorce share all marital debts and assets equally. Though the financial disclosure is done under oath, some people resort to some unethical and unlawful tactics to cheat their spouses out of their fair share in their divorce settlements. Common ways spouses hide assets include:

  • Omitting or underreporting income
  • Shady business payroll records, i.e., fake employees, odd accounts
  • Declining or delaying compensation
  • Expensive or miscellaneous business purchases
  • Loaning money to others

Sometimes evidence of hidden assets is available in plain sight or common places you would not normally think to look, like on bank or business statements, tax returns, mail, etc.

Anger and other negative feelings about divorce can influence one partner to act untrustworthy when it is time to disclose their financial information. In addition to utilizing personal resources to find hidden assets, you may request for the courts to use the discovery process to uncover assets your spouse is potentially hiding.