If you are getting divorced, one thing you want to consider is that your spouse may not be fully truthful regarding the assets that your family owns. In fact, some people go as far as hiding assets to keep them from their spouse. They don’t want to divide them fairly in the divorce. Here are a few ways that people do it so that you can know what to watch out for.
Giving money to friends and family members
One of the most common tactics is simple: giving money away. This instantly reduces what it appears that a person owns, and they can then get 100% of that money back from their friend or family member after the divorce. Be wary of any major transactions, even if they concoct an excuse like “paying back” an old debt that you’ve never heard of before.
Buying things that appear to be worth less money than they are
Your spouse may try to buy commonly undervalued items. That motorcycle that you assumed they bought used for $5,000 really cost $25,000 brand new, for instance. Artwork is another common target. Essentially, they’re just trying to find things you’ll overlook or things that you will assume are not worth as much as they are, leading you to take less value than you deserve.
Setting the money aside in smaller transactions
If your spouse pulled $10,000 out of the bank, you’d definitely notice. To avoid that, they may take smaller amounts over a longer period of time. Many people do this simply by asking for cash back at the grocery store or on other purchases. The receipts make the transactions all look normal and the cash back is hidden or easily overlooked. They can then set aside these smaller amounts until they’ve hidden a significant sum.
What can you do?
Hiding assets breaks the court’s regulations, but it does happen. If you think that your spouse is considering this or actively doing it, just be sure you know what legal options you have.