Divorce is a highly-complicated matter even at the best of times. If your divorce is particularly contentious, it is possible that one side might make things even more complex by attempting to hide assets.
Individuals who seek to hide assets during a divorce do so in order to keep more than their fair share after a court-mandated distribution of marital property. It is important to watch out for telltale signs that your spouse might be hiding assets and to understand what will happen if this occurs.
How can you tell if your spouse is hiding assets?
While everyone copes with the stress of divorce in different ways, some new behaviors displayed by your spouse could be indicative of a major problem. Certain actions can be red flags that your spouse is trying to hide assets. These can include:
- Unexpected withdrawals
- Closing financial accounts
- Changing passwords on joint accounts
- Sudden “gifts” to friends
- Suspicious activity within the family business
Keep in mind that you have the right to request an unbiased business valuation to ascertain the true worth of your spouse’s business, mitigating the risk that they might use the company’s operations to hide marital assets.
Are there consequences for hiding assets?
Any attempt to hide assets during a divorce will reflect poorly on the guilty individual. The court may weigh more heavily in favor of the innocent party when determining matters of asset division. A judge may even consider the act of hiding assets when ruling on child custody as well.
Malicious individuals undergoing a divorce might think that they will walk away with a small fortune if they successfully hide marital assets. The reality is that the innocent spouse will likely receive the greater share when an investigation brings the misdeed to light.