While hiding assets during a divorce is illegal, there’s always a sneaky spouse out there that thinks that they won’t get caught. If they are really good at their game, then they could rob you of access to assets you’d otherwise be entitled to when you divorce.
Some of the more common ways your spouse may attempt to hide assets from you are by simply hiding money in their car, at their office, in the house or in a safe deposit box. If you think of their recent activities, then a particular instance may stand out to you as suspicious. If you play it back in your mind, then you may be able to narrow in on where they keep their stash.
You may also have reason to be suspicious of a spouse who recently started to collect something such as art, stamps or coins. These collections are often valuable but aren’t easily appraised by just anyone. Generally, only someone knowledgeable about them can assign their true value instead of a value far inferior to what these items are actually worth.
If you find out that your ex overpaid creditors or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), then they may have done so with the expectation that they’ll be refunded those funds after the divorce is finalized. You should be skeptical of any claim that they’ve loaned a friend or family member money or if you find out that they’ve transferred investment accounts or stocks to them as well.
Spouses that typically receive performance bonuses, work on a contractual basis or are owed commission may purposefully defer that added income so that their ex cannot lay claim to it. They may underreport what they actually make on financial and tax documents too.
One final behavior that you may want to be cautious of is if your ex sets up a bank account supposedly earmarked for their child. They might claim that it’s for them, but it may be connected to someone else. It may serve as nothing more than a way to set aside funds, so you can’t access them.
Couples’ finances can be complex, especially if they have multiple homes, investments and retirement accounts. A San Jose complex property division attorney who has experience in guiding high net worth individuals through the divorce process will know where spouses hide assets and how to uncover them so you get what you deserve.