4 telltale signs your spouse is hiding marital assets
People should educate themselves on the warning signs that a spouse is hiding marital assets from them.
One of the most common concerns that spouses voice to us here at Hancock & Associates, P.A., is over hidden marital assets. Regardless of a couple’s financial situation, when the marriage has hit the rocks, spouses who control the money have been known to start hiding it as a way to protect it from being divided. The Huffington Post states that in two out of three marriages, a spouse is hiding money and other valuables.
By staying alert to the warning signs however, it is possible for people in Orlando to become aware of these hidden assets and find them.
1. Spouse is secretive
Forbes points out that spouses hiding assets are often secretive when it comes to the marital finances. These spouses usually refuse to share access information to online accounts, maintain separate banking accounts and have their bills sent to a different address. In marriages that involve significant assets, the spouse may start traveling to countries where it is easy to hide money or may go through several cellphones within a short amount of time.
2. Financial programs/records disappear
It is not uncommon for people who are hiding money to suddenly claim that a financial program has crashed. However, the change to electronic records in recent years gives spouses the ability to conduct a search and gather banking statements and other financial information. Many people are even relying on spying technology to track their spouses’ activity online through their smartphones, computers and other devices. These programs have assisted many people in locating hidden assets.
3. The business is suddenly struggling
If people tell a spouse before they file for divorce that the family business is struggling financially, this should be taken as a red flag. People may try to claim a lower revenue from the business in order to lower its valuation. Spouses should pay attention if their significant other starts selling off business assets to family members or friends, opens additional bank accounts for the business without reason or transfers property to others with excuses that don’t seem to add up. The more elaborate the story provided, the more suspicious a spouse should become and conduct an investigation.
4. Excessive spending
It sounds odd, but excessive spending can also be a sign that a spouse is hiding assets. Building debt and purchasing expensive items such as a new car, art or other items that are out of character could be a way for the spouse to obtain assets for later liquidation. The spouse may also claim financial hardship as a result of these new debts to retain more of the marital property. People should monitor their spouse’s social media activity to see if they are going on expensive vacations or buying new property.
People can check their tax returns which may reveal hidden sources of income and even the existence of hidden real estate. Talking with an experienced attorney can also be beneficial.