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5 signs a spouse might be trying to hide assets in a divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2024 | Divorce

Divorce can be a difficult time, especially when it comes to dividing assets fairly between partners. While many couples aim for an amicable split, some individuals might resort to hiding assets to try to keep more for themselves.

The following are signs to watch out for that could indicate your spouse is hiding assets before or during a divorce.

1. Unexplained financial control

If your spouse suddenly takes full control of the finances and refuses to share account information with you, this is a warning sign. Continually check access to all online accounts. If you find yourself locked out without explanation, investigate the situation further to ensure you will have a fair division of assets.

2. Mysterious behavior around finances

Another red flag is if your spouse becomes secretive about financial matters. If they avoid discussing money or seem evasive when you bring up financial topics, they may be trying to hide something from you.

Open communication is key to a positive outcome in any relationship, including during a divorce. Reluctance to talk about finances could indicate ulterior motives.

3. Suspicious spending patterns

Keep an eye out for unusual spending habits, particularly large purchases your spouse makes without your knowledge. Your spouse might be trying to deplete joint assets by buying expensive items to hide or sell later. Additionally, if your soon-to-be ex-spouse starts giving money to friends or family, claiming it as loans, it could be a tactic to retain cash for themselves post-divorce.

4. Missing financial documents

If you notice that bank statements or other financial documents stop arriving as usual, dig deeper. Your spouse may have changed the mailing address to hide transactions or divert funds into a separate account. Discrepancies in the handling of financial paperwork could indicate attempts to conceal assets.

5. Sudden financial claims

Be wary if your spouse suddenly claims a decrease in income or blames losses on bad investments. This might be a fabrication to justify hidden assets or reduced payouts during the divorce settlement. Questionable business practices or overstated financial losses should raise suspicion.

The penalties for hiding assets can include criminal charges. As the wronged spouse, you might even receive a larger portion of the estate or the value of an item for what the court refers to as “fraud on the community.” Therefore, it is wise to recognize and act on signs of asset concealment early on to protect your financial interests during divorce.

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