Fair property division during divorce depends on having a full understanding of your property. Unfortunately, not everyone approaches this process honestly. In fact, your spouse may attempt to conceal assets so that you receive less than your fair share. What methods of hiding assets should you be aware of?
Giving away money or possessions to friends or family
In some cases, a person may give away their possessions before property division, trusting that the person they gave those assets to will return them after divorce. For example, they may transfer these assets as gifts, or they may claim that they owed money to a close friend. This could involve cash, possessions or even stock from your investment portfolio.
Transferring money into a child’s account
While many parents set up a bank account to provide for their child, a custodial account set up using your child’s social security number could also be a hiding place for funds. This account may belong to your child, but your spouse would still have access.
Hiding valuables in a safe deposit box
While many people immediately think of large possessions like their family home, the truth is that valuable possessions can also be small enough to stash in a safe deposit box. If your spouse puts cash, collectibles, fine jewelry or other items in a safe deposit box or other hiding place, those valuable items may go unaddressed during property division. Taking note when these valuable assets go missing can be an important way to protect yourself.
In some cases, one spouse will try to spend their savings so that the court cannot divide those funds. They may buy new items, invest in items like cryptocurrency that are often more challenging to trace, spend money on travel or otherwise dissipate their savings.
It is important to remember that the value of some assets might not be immediately apparent. For example, a new rug might be a lucky flea market find or a valuable antique. Understanding the value of the items that your spouse purchases can help you make more informed decisions during the divorce process.
While a person may try to hide assets, there are ways to uncover those assets and protect your finances in the process. The right guidance can help you remain aware of the risks of hidden assets, identify misconduct and fight for a fair solution in your divorce.