Any couple going through a divorce must rummage through remnants of what once was a reliable marriage. The experiences can be difficult, though, and the discoveries may be more than surprising. But some of those things were not meant to be discovered, at least that is what had been hoped for by a spouse attempting to hide assets.
Hidden assets are, sometimes, a major issue in affluent divorce cases. Together, such couples may have accumulated an abundance of valuable assets. However, as a marriage crumbles, many couples begin hiding things from each other. And not just emotions. On that list may include assets. With aroused suspicions, look for signs that your spouse is attempting to hide assets.
Tax return issues, defensive behavior
If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets, look for a number of signs that may include:
- Tax return inconsistencies: Tax returns will turn up real estate investments, rental properties, business acquisitions, mutual fund dividends and interest earnings from sold bonds.
- The evidence of unbeknownst online banking accounts or other investments: This is a good place for someone to stash hidden money. A PayPal account would suffice, too.
- A shrinking paycheck: Why is your spouse’s paycheck amount not as large as it used to be? Perhaps he or she is diverting funds somewhere else.
- The discovery of hidden cash at home: Perhaps you stumble upon a safe deposit box or safe at home. You also may be surprised to find cash in some strange places. Consider inside your car, the ceiling, the freezer and books.
- Learning of a post office box: If your spouse is trying to hide assets, he or she may have secured a post office box to receive certain financial documents.
- Defensive behavior: Defensiveness is a symptom of keeping secrets. Simple questions may trigger outbursts related to money. Your spouse may even deny the existence of the assets.
Sometimes, divorce brings out the worst behavior in people. A greedy and vindictive soon-to-be ex-spouse may have spent months planning and hiding assets that rightfully belong to you, too. These are the times when you need the insight of an experienced and empathetic attorney as well as a forensic accountant prepared to uncover those concealed assets.