Robert G. Smith, PLLC

Seven common places spouses try to hide assets

When there are many assets to untangle in divorce, it can be important for each spouse to remain especially vigilant for potential discrepancies. Sometimes these discrepancies are simple errors, but sometimes they are a sign that something more unethical is happening.

All assets and debts should be disclosed honestly during divorce, so they can be fairly divided. However, some spouses take it upon themselves to prevent a fair division by hiding assets that they want to keep for themselves.

Its usually better to find assets sooner than later

While it may be possible to recover your fair share of assets after divorce, it is usually better to find hidden assets during divorce, so they can be divided properly in the first place. If you suspect your spouse has hidden assets, it may be helpful to share this information with your divorce team, which will likely have experience uncovering such assets.

However, it can also be helpful to familiarize yourself with the common ways spouses try to hide assets. With this knowledge, you may be able to speculate where your spouse would have hidden assets.

Some common ways spouses try to hide assets, include:

  • Hiding cash in a safe deposit box or a special hiding place in the house
  • Underreporting income
  • Overpaying taxes or debts
  • Creating fake debt
  • Setting up a custodial account
  • Temporarily transferring investments
  • Buying items that are likely to be undervalued

Although there is often distrust between divorcing spouses, hidden assets are not always a problem. However, it may occur more often than some people realize. The best way to avoid letting hidden assets slip away is to take the time to look over all financial disclosures carefully during your divorce. If you notice something that doesn’t add up, it may be worth investigating further.

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