A sneaky spouse who you viewed with mistrust during your marriage may continue the questionable behavior as you pursue a divorce. How? By hiding marital assets, an action that is not uncommon when some couples split.
It is all in the name of spite from a vengeful spouse to keep you from securing the assets that rightfully belong to you. How does a spouse hide assets? Who helps him or her? It can happen through many ways.
Delaying work bonuses, dissipating assets
Here are four ways in which a spouse attempts to hide assets:
- Through the willing aid of friends and relatives: They have taken sides in the divorce and want to help your spouse. This group may hide cash, savings bonds and investment certificates on their property. Another method: accepting “repayments” for non-existent loans.
- Dubious asset transfers: Money may be stashed in financial accounts created in the names of relatives, friends and dummy corporations. Your children may be unknowing accomplices, too, when a spouse transmits money into custodial accounts set up with their Social Security numbers.
- Conspiring with an employer: Your spouse may have cut a surreptitious deal with his or her employer. A future pay raise or large work-related bonus may get delayed until after the resolution of the divorce.
- Dissipation of assets: This is a method in which a spouse intentionally wastes and spends marital property, preventing the other spouse from securing their fair share in the divorce settlement. Spending sprees on gambling, travels, drugs and a paramour are some of the ways.
These are merely some of the ways that a spouse hides assets. Call them out and uncover their misdeeds.
Trust your instincts
Uncovering hidden assets will prove challenging. But if you have a firm understanding of your marital assets and sense something is amiss, trust your instincts. Then seek critical guidance from a forensic accountant and an attorney.