The Betz Law Firm Articles Is My Spouse Hiding Assets During Divorce?

Is My Spouse Hiding Assets During Divorce?

By David Betz  Aug. 15, 2018 6:39p

When you get married to somebody, you become one legal entity. That means that you share just about everything: Money, assets, children, and more. When you get divorced, you need to split that legal entity, which means dividing everything that you once shared. Unfortunately, one party in a divorce sometimes does not want to part with assets that they feel entitled to. Instead of being honest about what they have, they try to hide them. If your spouse decides to conceal assets from you during your divorce, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced St. Louis divorce attorney. Below, we tell you what you need to know about combating the hiding of assets.

Are They Allowed To?

You might be thinking that if one member of a marriage makes the majority of the money, that they have a right to a higher percentage of shared assets. This is incorrect. Though there are often negotiations about the exact terms of splitting assets, the generality is that they are divided close to evenly. What you need to know is that this isn’t just a convention. If your partner tries to hide their assets, they are not only committing a moral error, but also breaking the law.

Red Flags

They are a few common warning signs that you can look out for during your divorce. If your partner is acting in these suspicious ways, you need to talk to your lawyer.

Large Cash Withdrawals - A common tactic people try to use is converting their bank accounts into cash and literally hiding it. Though this will easily be caught by a competent St. Louis divorce lawyer, it still happens all the time.

Opening an Offshore Account - Your spouse might try to tie his or her money up in foreign accounts, which offer more anonymity than domestic banks.

Starting a Corporation - Sometimes people try to hide their assets in a corporation, which is seen as a legal entity that is separated from their personal assets.

The Discovery Process

If you believe that your spouse is not disclosing the entirety of their financials, you and your lawyer can make legal requests for more information. This information can include financial documents, written statements, sworn testimonies, and asset inspections. The following are the most common things a lawyer looks at during the discovery process.

Tax Returns - Given how readily available it is and how much information it conveys, getting your spouse’s tax return is usually the first step.

Loan Applications - If your partner has applied for a loan recently, they likely gave that financial institution a lot of information. This is information that you can collect and use.

Cash Flow - You can look at existing bank accounts and look for large transactions.

Hidden Accounts - If you have good reason to believe your spouse has an additional bank account, your lawyer can send a subpoena to obtain records from that bank.

Divorces can get very complicated, especially when one of the spouses tries to hide their assets. If this ever happens in your divorce, you will surely benefit from speaking with an experienced lawyer. If this all sounds bleak to you, then know one thing: Cheaters almost never get away with it. If you run into this situation, you will likely come out okay.

Read more:

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What Is the Difference Between an Annulment and a Divorce?

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