One of the most contentious parts of divorcing can be dividing the marital assets. You and your spouse both want to make sure you get a fair share of assets. But what happens when you suspect your spouse has hidden money or property from you?
Unfortunately, some spouses may hide assets to keep them out of divorce proceedings. Here are a few ways that your spouse may conceal assets from you:
- Giving the asset to someone else for safekeeping
- Preventing you from looking at bank accounts
- Paying debt that doesn’t exist
- Telling you the asset doesn’t exist
- Telling you that he or she lost the asset
By hiding money, real estate or possessions from you, your spouse hopes to appear poorer in divorce. If you don’t know about the hidden property, you may not receive a fair share of marital assets. And you won’t be able to include the assets in calculations for alimony or child support.
Finding hidden paperwork
When you look for evidence of hidden assets, you can usually find a paper trail. Your spouse likely can’t keep extra assets from the IRS. You can look over your tax returns to see if there are any discrepancies. Additional property taxes or income reported can signal hidden property or money.
You may also be able to find paperwork in hiding spots. If you and your spouse have a safe or a safe deposit box, your spouse may have stored evidence in these, thinking you would have no reason to go in them. Looking over these documents can be confusing, so you may want to seek guidance from your lawyer or financial adviser.
When you go through a divorce, you want to make sure you have a fair split of the marital property. Finding your spouse’s hidden assets makes sure that you receive your share.