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How to tell if a spouse may be hiding marital property

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2017 | Divorce

You never want to think that the person sleeping next to you might also be plotting your financial demise. However, spouses do conceal property from one another for multiple reasons, and it happens more frequently than you may want to believe.

If you suspect that your husband or wife may be starting to move assets ahead of a potential divorce, there are some common methods he or she may be using to do so. If you think this is happening to you, you may want to start keeping an eye out for potential warning signs, which may include:

Transferring assets to a friend

If your spouse has a close confidante, whether family or otherwise, you may want to take note of any sales of goods that take place between them. For example, if your husband suddenly sells, say, a boat or an expensive work of art to a brother or friend, the two may have an agreement in place where the goods will be sold back after divorce proceedings conclude. That way, whatever was sold does not factor in when your assets are ultimately divided between you.

Transferring money to a new account

Transferring money to a new, separate bank account is among the most common and obvious methods spouses use to try and hide property from one another. While you may not know if your spouse creates a new bank account in only his or her name, you can look for key signs, such as unexplained debits or transfers from your joint account. You may, too, consider the fact that your spouse may have arranged it so that bank statements for the new account go somewhere other than your marital home, such as an office or post office box.

Delaying promotions or the invoicing of clients

If your spouse has a strong relationship with his or her employer, there may be an agreement between them to hold off on awarding your spouse a raise or promotion until the divorce is finalized. If your spouse owns his or her own business, he or she may intentionally delay invoicing until after the divorce so that the income set to come in because of the invoice does not have to be split between you during proceedings.

Taking cash back after debit card purchases

When you use your debit card at, say, the grocery store, you are often asked if you would like to get any cash back on your purchase. If your spouse takes a small bill here and another small bill there, you may not notice the deductions and assume they are part of the grocery trip. Over time, however, these funds can add up, giving your spouse an unfair financial edge.

When marriages take a turn for the worse, spouses sometimes find ways to conceal assets from one another. If you believe you have been a victim of this type of behavior, consider contacting a lawyer.