Let’s face it – divorce is emotional.
More often than not there are hurt feelings, anger and many times, the desire to “Get Even!”
In our practice we often hear people say things like "I will never give me ex one dollar" or "I'd rather go to jail than give my ex anything."
Because of such hurtful feelings and other emotions, it is not uncommon in divorce cases for one spouse to try to take advantage of the other. Often times, this can lead to a spouse trying to hide assets.
In this article, we address the common signs that a spouse is trying to hide assets or commit fraud by leaving assets out of a divorce.
New car or other recent expensive purchases prior to divorce can mean your spouse is trying to hide assets
Did your spouse recently buy a new car, recreational vehicle or large piece of jewelry? This can be the perfect way for someone to spend cash and then sell the item later to get the money back.
Watch for any large purchases your spouse makes right before the divorce.
New credit cards you didn't notice before?
Have you noticed new credit card statements or bank statements in the mail? Are you unfamiliar with these accounts?
Even accounts from your own bank that only have your spouse's name on them can signify that he or she is moving or hiding money.
Are you allowed to see your financial statements or is your spouse keeping them secret?
Sort of like new bank accounts, if your spouse is unwilling to share credit card statements with you, is changing the access to on-line accounts or is shredding statements before you can review them, this could be a sign that your spouse is hiding money or making purchases that your spouse doesn’t want you to know about with the intent to keep those items when the divorce is final.
Does your spouse work in a cash job? Is all of the income being report?
You should have a pretty good idea of what your spouse makes, and if he or she has a W2 with reported income, it is difficult to understate income.
However, if your spouse receives cash payments, tips or is paid under the table, it is much easier to hide income.
If your spouse understates income, it can affect child support, alimony and how much money you get during the split.
Is mail being sent to a different address?
If you and your spouse are divorcing and mail is being sent to a new address, this could be a sign your spouse is hiding something.
Has your spouse made "loans" to friends or family?
One of the most common things we see in divorce cases is clients who claim they “loaned” money to friends and family. Often times, this means that clients have given away money to make their savings, etc. look lower so that they don’t have to pay support.
It can also be a sign that your spouse has given money away with the intent to get the money back later without having to split it in the divorce.
Is your spouse paying more on credit cards or other obligations than what is owed?
This seems to go hand in hand with a spouse keeping credit card statements a secret.
Most recently, we had a case where a spouse received over $50,000 in a short period of time. However, her lawyer kept saying she had no money and needed spouse support. When we received her credit card statements it became obvious where the money went. She was using the money to overpay her creditors.
This way it looked like she (1) had no money and (2) was paying legitimate debt all way obtaining more and more alimony from her soon to be ex. Once her scheme was exposed, she did not receive any more money from her soon to be ex.
Protect your property
While you must stay alert to any changes that are going on during your divorce and recognize that your spouse may take advantage of you, you should also speak to an attorney immediately after you decide to file for divorce. A lawyer can help to determine the best property division and identify where assets are.
At Rosenblum Law Offices, our attorneys are experienced divorce litigators who have seen spouses try to hide assets for years in thousands of different cases. If you or someone you know needs a divorce, call us today at (702) 433-2889 or fill out our on-line form for more information. If you enjoyed this article, please leave a comment below.