Your spouse has a legal obligation to disclose all assets that the two of you own during a divorce. You must do the same. If the court is involved in dividing those assets, they first need to know exactly what you own.
Unfortunately, this does not mean that spouses won’t try to hide assets. Here are a few ways that they may do it so that you know what to watch out for.
Simply giving money away
The easiest way to hide assets is just to give the money to someone else, who can then give it back when the divorce case has wrapped up. Your spouse may just do this without telling you, hoping you won’t notice, or they’ll come up with an excuse. They’ll say that they forgot about an old debt to a friend that they needed to pay back, for instance, or they’ll say they’re loaning money to that person to start a business.
Putting off payments at work
Say your spouse is offered a promotion and a raise at work. They may ask their boss to wait until after the divorce. This reduces their assets that they own, and it also can impact what they need to pay for child support or alimony. The same could be done with commissions, bonuses or other significant payments that go beyond the normal paycheck.
Paying too much in taxes
People usually try to pay as little in taxes as they can, but your spouse could actually overpay if they’re planning ahead. They’ll eventually get that money back as a refund, but you’ll miss out on it.
Lying about the value of certain items
Odds are that you do not know the exact dollar value of everything your spouse owns. If they lie about it, they can sometimes hide money in those assets. They could buy a piece of art for $10,000 and claim it only cost $2,000, for instance. They could also hide money in a business or buy assets for that business with family money.
What can you do?
It’s frustrating to see your spouse do this, but rest assured that you do have legal options. Make sure you know what steps to take.