Divorce is a challenging process, and it can become even more complicated when one spouse attempts to conceal assets.
Identifying signs of hidden assets is important for ensuring a fair and equitable distribution of resources.
1. Unexplained financial discrepancies
Keep a close eye on your joint financial records, including bank statements, tax returns and investment portfolios. If you notice unexplained discrepancies or irregularities, such as missing funds or unaccounted-for transactions, it could be a red flag. Pay attention to sudden changes in spending habits or unexplained withdrawals.
2. Overemphasis on cash transactions
A spouse hiding assets may prefer dealing in cash to leave fewer trails. Take note if your partner begins withdrawing large sums of cash or insists on cash payments for transactions previously done electronically. Cash transactions are harder to trace, making it a preferred method for those attempting to conceal assets.
3. Undervalued assets and property transfers
Another potential sign of hidden assets is undervaluing or transferring ownership of significant assets, such as real estate or investments. During divorce proceedings, some spouses may attempt to downplay the value of assets to minimize their share of the marital estate. Monitor any sudden transfers of property or changes in ownership, especially if they seem disproportionate or occur without adequate explanation.
4. Complex business transactions
For couples with businesses or investments, complex financial arrangements can be a breeding ground for hidden assets. If your spouse owns a business, closely scrutinize financial statements and be wary of sudden changes in business practices. Complex transactions, loans or alterations in the company’s financial structure may be tactics to obscure assets from the divorce proceedings.
Marriage does not always last, which is why 689,308 divorces occurred in 2021. As an equitable distribution state, hidden assets during the divorce process can leave one spouse an unfair settlement.