Is your soon-to-be ex-spouse hiding assets?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in divorce on Friday, April 8, 2016.

In any divorce, money is bound to be a central issue–with each spouse wanting to ensure that he or she receives a fair share. However, before any decisions can be made about who gets what and how much of it, all assets and debts must be accounted for. In cases where a spouse isn’t completely honest about the value of certain assets or outright attempts to hide assets, the divorce negotiation process can stall and quickly become contentious.

Thankfully, with today’s technological advancements, it’s easier than ever to investigate and discover a spouse’s attempts to squirrel away assets. This is good news for anyone who is going through a divorce as the National Endowment for Financial Education reports that “secretive hidden funds are seen in two out of three marriages.” While suspicious spouses have a wealth of GPS and spyware software options at their disposal, it’s always best to contact and enlist the assistance of a divorce attorney who can provide valuable legal advice and assistance.

The following are among the most common ways that divorcing spouses attempt to hide assets:

  • Individual bank accounts
  • ATM cash withdrawals
  • Transferring funds to a relative
  • Underreporting income for tax purposes or overpaying to reap a tax refund
  • Delaying raises or bonuses until after a divorce is finalized
  • Setting up and funding an account in a child’s name

Individuals who have concerns that a spouse is hiding assets, can often discover clues that confirm their suspicions using one or more of the following methods:

  • View Facebook comments or photos
  • GPS devices – is a spouse making trips to an attorney, financial planner or bank?
  • Computer spyware software
  • Smartphone spyware apps
  • Emails
  • Text messages
  • Review web browser history

Source: Huffington Post, “Uncovering Hidden Assets in Divorce Litigation,” David Centeno, Aug. 15, 2014, “Where to Search for Hidden Assets During Divorce,” Candace Bahr & Ginita Wall, April 8, 2016

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