Even in the bitterest divorce, few people would like to believe that their spouse would conceal assets from them in order to affect the outcome of a property settlement, alimony or child support order. Unfortunately, however, asset concealment during divorce occurs more often than many people are aware. Therefore, it is important for divorcing spouses to be on the lookout for potential warning signs that a spouse may be hiding assets.
Being secretive about financial matters
If your spouse suddenly becomes cagey about financial matters, it may be because he or she has something to hide. While it is common among married couples for one spouse to take a more active role in paying bills and managing the couple’s financial affairs, both partners should have access to all relevant accounts and financial information, and should stay informed about the state of their finances.
This becomes all the more important when divorce is on the horizon, since it is much easier for a deceptive spouse to conceal assets from a partner who is inattentive or ill-informed on financial matters. If your spouse discourages you from taking an active role in your finances or seems unwilling to share passwords or account information with you, it may indicate that he or she is attempting to hide assets.
Complaining about money or debts
Some people attempt to disguise their wealth during divorce by complaining about sudden financial hardships, such as failed investments or business difficulties. To an unwary spouse, this can create an impression that the complaining individual has fewer assets than he or she really does. As a result, it may be easier for the deceptive spouse to conceal assets without detection.
A related tactic involves taking out unusual amounts of debt in order to create the illusion that an individual’s assets are less extensive than they really are. Exaggerating or overstating debts in this manner can result in a divorce settlement that is unfairly skewed in favor of the spouse who is hiding assets.
Making unusual purchases
Another way that some people attempt to hide assets from a spouse during divorce is by purchasing expensive items like art or antiques, whose value is easy to overlook or underestimate in a divorce settlement. After the divorce is finalized, these objects are then sold and the profits retained by the spouse who purchased them. If you notice that your spouse has been making unusual purchases, be sure that the purchased items are thoroughly accounted for and accurately assessed at their full value during the divorce.
Contact an attorney for help uncovering hidden assets
If you suspect your spouse of hiding assets from you, be sure to seek help right away from an attorney who is experienced in uncovering hidden assets during divorce settlements. A knowledgeable divorce lawyer can help you locate and identify all marital assets and will work hard to see that you get your fair share during the divorce.
Contact Boyle & Feinberg, P.C., to schedule an initial consultation with an attorney regarding your divorce concerns. You can reach us by phone at 312-376-8860 or 847-394-3940, or via email.