Spouses may hide assets for many reasons, and while some are more sympathetic than others, they all result in the same thing: an illegal move that makes life harder for you. Fortunately, because it is illegal, you can take steps to defend your rightful share.
But first, you need to identify whether or not asset-hiding has actually taken place. But just how can you do that?
Use of false debts as cover
Forbes discusses ways to see if your spouse made the decision to hide assets. This can manifest in different ways, including but not limited to changes in behavior and obvious or semi-obvious attempts at getting money and assets out of your home.
For example, one of the most popular methods of hiding assets involves using friends or family as cover. A spouse will often claim to “repay debts” that they have owed, in light of the financial changes coming down the road due to the divorce. They will give this debt money to someone – usually a friend or family member – who then holds on to it for them. After the divorce, they will proceed to collect the money again.
Sudden purchase of pricy products
Another popular method involves transferring monetary assets into physical items that you cannot divide. For example, a spouse may suddenly purchase a new motorcycle, expensive piece of electronic equipment, musical instrument, fine artwork or so on. They do so with the intention of selling or returning it after the divorce, thus gaining that money back.
Therefore, you should keep an eye out for a sudden increase in big-ticket item purchases. Keep an eye out for furtiveness and an unwillingness to share financial information as well, since they could use this as a cover to hide more.