Signs that your spouse may be hiding assets
If you and your spouse are talking about divorce, most likely you are both concerned about your financial futures. Naturally, you want to protect your fair share of the marital property. Unfortunately, many people try to hide assets during a divorce in an attempt to keep more than their fair share. How will you know if your spouse is hiding assets during a divorce? Below are a few signs to look for.
You stop receiving financial statements
Whether you normally receive statements online or by mail, check the statements of all your financial institutions. Your spouse may have changed delivery options so you would not see activity. Examine your statements closely for unusual activity.
Overpayment to creditors
Overpaying debt is a classic move to hide assets. The creditor could be anyone from a credit card company to the IRS. Overpayment sets your spouse up for an account credit or refund later. Another twist on this tactic is taking out a fake loan from a family member, which they list as a debt on their financial forms, and may even make payments to, but the family member later returns the money.
A drop in salary
If your spouse suddenly makes less money than before, they may have found a way to defer or hold their salary, commissions or bonuses for future payment in order to keep it off the books during the divorce.
New business investments or employees
If your spouse owns a business, they have multiple ways to funnel money through the business. They can purposefully slow down business in an effort to lower its value, put fake employees on the payroll or any other drastic changes in operating costs.
Lifestyle does not match the financial disclosure
You know your spouse and you know their habits and lifestyle. If they are making large or extravagant purchases or making large gifts, but claim not to have money, you know something is not right.
What can you do about it?
If you suspect your spouse of hiding assets, talk to your divorce lawyer about hiring a forensic accountant or CPA to go through your financial records. These professionals know how to examine the financial paper trail to find any misdeeds. The consequences can be severe for spouses lying to the court during divorce in California.