It’s easy enough to assume that your spouse will be honest and forthcoming during the divorce, but you have to remember two things. First, they may not want to get divorced, which can make the process feel like a competition. Second, people will do things you would never expect from them in the name of their own best interests.
What this means is that your spouse may hide assets. When you divide what you own as a couple, they don’t split those hidden assets with you, essentially stealing from you in the process. Here are a few ways they may do it.
Keeping money tied up in investments
Odds are that you know what is in your bank account, but do you know about every cent in your spouse’s investment accounts? Some people will even create new accounts and transfer stock in to them to hide it.
Buying things that appear less valuable than they are
Your spouse could invest in assets that they know you’ll undervalue. Buying art is a common way to do this. If they buy a painting that they can sell for $30,000 and tell you it’s just worth $3,000, would you know? They’re essentially hiding $27,000 in that painting.
Giving away money
This sounds counterintuitive, but they’re not giving it away forever. The friend, business partner or family member whom they give the money to simply holds it for them until the divorce is finalized. Then they give it back and you lose out.
If you think your spouse is doing this or may do so, you definitely need to know what options you have and how to uncover assets. Your family law attorney can help you.