DIVORCE: Are Financial Assets Being Hidden?

Is your spouse hiding assets in your divorce case? In many divorces, it can be difficult to trust any statements or guarantees of the other spouse at face value. This is especially true when dealing with the financial implications and division of assets. Without seeing the proof, there is no way to know if your spouse is giving you the complete picture of your marital assets.

Failure to disclose assets is not always intentional. It could be an honest oversight on a spouse's part. But in some cases, one spouse will intentionally hide assets or funnel money into a hidden account in order to walk away with a bigger slice of the shared financial pie.

Legally, both parties are entitled to a share of all marital assets. The assets are required to be disclosed and divvied up equally in community property states like Arizona. That said, in order to obtain your fair share, you need to know what's out there.

Some methods of hiding assets are more common than others. For example, even if your spouse is lying to you, it's less likely that they are lying to the IRS, which could get them into big trouble. Ask to see income tax returns and see if any assets are listed that you have been previously unaware of.

Similarly, review recent purchases through shared and separate checking, savings and credit card accounts. Large purchases could amount to your spouse trying to turn cash assets into physical ones to make them easier to hide. Credit bureaus can also indicate if large purchases have been made without your knowledge.

Finally, be weary of fake debt repayments, trusts and custodial accounts allegedly set up for children, and salaries paid to false employees. These are all common ways spouses attempt to hide assets during divorce.

If you suspect your soon-to-be ex-spouse may be trying to hide marital assets, alert your lawyer and make sure to keep a watchful eye on the financial actions of your spouse.


Huffington Post, "Finding Your Ex's Hidden Assets," Brendan Lyle, July 12, 2012

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