Your spouse tells you that they don’t want to get divorced. They blame you for the way the marriage is ending. You can tell that they’re frustrated and angry, and you worry that they’re looking to get even.
One of the most common ways that people do this is by hiding assets. Your spouse knows that he or she has to divide those assets with you in the divorce. By hiding them in advance, your spouse essentially hopes to steal your share of the assets from you. This is malicious and illegal, but it happens all the same.
How do people do it?
You can uncover hidden assets, and the first step is to understand how people hide them in the first place. Here are a few common tricks that they use:
● Putting money aside in small amounts so that you won’t notice. They’ll often do this with cash back on normal purchases, hiding the withdrawals.
● Overpaying on bills, such as taxes or even credit cards. Doing this can cause the company or government to issue a refund check, which your spouse then fails to tell you about.
● Giving away money and calling it a gift, a loan, the repayment of a debt or something of this nature. Basically, your spouse just needs an excuse, even though they know perfectly well that the person they gave the money to will give it all back after the divorce.
● Funneling money into a business. If your spouse owns a business, they can use it to hide money that should have stayed with the family. Some even go so far as to make up fake expenses.
● Undervaluing assets that they already own. You may not know the value of a painting, for instance. Without a professional valuation, your spouse could tell you that it’s worth $1,000 when it’s really worth $100,000.
If you’re worried that your spouse is going to do this to keep you from getting your fair share, make sure you watch out for these red flags and that you know what legal steps you can take to protect yourself.