The 7 Red Flags That Could Mean Your Spouse is Hiding Assets in Your Divorce

The purpose of a marriage is to build a life together. When the couple no longer wants to continue with this partnership, it is only equitable (unless otherwise agreed to previously in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement) that they share the assets that were created or obtained during the marriage in a divorce. Unfortunately, not all spouses abide by this rule of equity in a divorce and will go so far as to hide assets from the other spouse to avoid having to give them over in a divorce. Here are 7 signs that could mean that your spouse is hiding assets:

1) You find statements from accounts that you didn’t know existed. Most spouses are fairly familiar with the accounts owned by the other spouse ranging from 401K accounts to pension funds and stock accounts. If you are going through your joint financial documentation and come across an account that is not familiar to you, it could be an account your spouse has opened to start diverting money to hide the assets.

2) Your spouse tells you that their income has decreased. This is entirely reasonable as people’s income can fluctuate, especially for the self-employed. However, if you notice a dramatic reduction since last year’s tax return, then your spouse may be actively underreporting their income. This is much harder to prove if your spouse is being paid in cash for services.

3) Your spouse starts making large purchases. It may seem counterintuitive, but another way of converting or hiding money is to use it to purchase large assets which the purchaser can then declare at a lower value. For example, if they purchase a vintage Corvette at a certain price, they may claim a year later, during the divorce, it is valued less than the purchase price.

4) Your spouse pays off fake employees. If your spouse owns their own business, they can try to divert funds to pay for employees who do not exist or a shell vendor. They may claim it is a legitimate business expense and use it to funnel money back to themselves or their friends.

5) Your spouse suddenly has a P.O. Box. This in and of itself is not proof positive that your spouse is attempting to siphon funds through illicit accounts. Consider though why it would be necessary to pay the expense to maintain a post office box to receive mail that they could have delivered to your or other legitimate addresses.

6) Money starts to disappear. This is usually one of the biggest red flags of all, especially if the money is disappearing in large sums from jointly held accounts with no discussion with you or knowledge on your part.

7) Your spouse opens an account for your child. This is also known as a “custodial account.” It is opened in the name of the child using their social security number ostensibly for college funds or other trust funds. However, they can also be used to funnel money from the marital assets to the other spouse for their own uses.

These are just some of the viable signs that a spouse is actively seeking to siphon marital assets and convert them for personal use or are not disclosing assets to avoid having to add them to the marital pot for division. If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets during your Florida divorce, it is essential to have an experienced and tenacious family law attorney on your side to go after those assets. Here at Annette Sanchez Law, we will help you every step of the way ensure that you get your fair share of the marital estate that you helped to build and see you through your divorce. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.

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