When going through a divorce, emotions are often fraught and it is hard to keep track of everything with the stress you undergo. Unfortunately, your spouse may try to take advantage of the chaos and confusion in an effort to hold onto an unequal amount of assets.
This action of hiding assets is illegal. That does not stop people from trying to get away with it, though. The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to figure out the red flags that might indicate a spouse attempting to pull the wool over your eyes.
Changes in behavior about finances
Forbes discusses ways you can locate these potential hidden assets. First, know your spouse’s spending patterns and their behaviors regarding financial matters. You will want to keep an eye out for any potential deviations in these patterns, as they may indicate a spouse attempting to hide something.
For example, say your spouse normally shares financial information with you, such as receipts and bills. When hiding assets, they can no longer make such open moves and may begin refusing to allow you to see anything without a financial affidavit.
Sudden spending and debt repayment
If they normally have frugal spending behaviors, watch out for large purchases, too. One common asset-hiding tactic involves investing money in big-ticket items – televisions, cars, fine art, etc. – and returning or selling the item after divorce.
Finally, watch out for any phony-sounding debts that your spouse claims they must repay, especially if the debts go toward family members or friends. Your spouse and the person they “owe” may collude, with the person collecting the money and keeping it safe until after the divorce, at which point they will return it with it never passing through asset division.