If you and your spouse decide to divorce, it can be difficult, but you also likely expect that they will honestly disclose their assets so they can be divided between both of you. A hidden asset is one your spouse intentionally conceals or does not disclose during the divorce process.
Unscrupulous people are always coming up with new ways to hide assets in divorce, but there are certain common methods.
These include underreported income, so your spouse has a lower spousal support payment, a transfer of money to a separate bank account you are not aware of, and hiding property which can include a home or real estate investments.
Your spouse may temporarily give a family member or friend property like jewelry, antiques or artwork to avoid sharing their value with you. Failing to disclose assets during the divorce proceeding can result in serious consequences, including fines and penalties.
Finding hidden assets
It can be difficult to find hidden assets, but not impossible. It may be useful to start by gathering documents like bank statements and tax returns that provide transaction details. A financial professional may be able to determine whether there are any discrepancies.
Large financial transactions, like a significant withdrawal in cash may indicate that your spouse is setting that money aside to avoid dividing it. Also, if you have a shared bank account and do not recognize who a check is made out to or if there are wire transfers to unknown parties, you may require more investigation by a professional.
If you uncover a hidden asset, it’s important to make the court aware of it.