It’s not all that uncommon for a spouse to attempt to conceal assets from his or her soon-to-be ex-spouse. There are a number of reasons why a spouse would want to hide assets, but it usually boils down to not having to share any with his or her spouse.
So how do you know if your spouse is hiding assets from you? Unless you have some resource telling you that there are assets hidden, such as documents or someone’s word, then you don’t. The process for finding those assets can be difficult and expensive, but it can also be worth it.
What assets are hidden? Most commonly, cash, mutual funds, stocks, bonds and insurance policies are hidden. Cash may also be converted into personal property, like jewelry, art, vehicles, boats and antiques.
How are assets hidden? The ways that people hide their assets vary. In some cases, third parties may be used without even realizing they are assisting your spouse in hiding assets. Safety deposit boxes are often used. Paying off debts, such as credit cards or mortgages, can also be a way to hide cash. Some assets may be transferred over into a business or the name of a family member.
Trusts are also used, as is giving money to someone with the anticipation of repayment. Using business funds to pay employees that are nonexistent and delaying business contracts are also ways to hide assets.
In order to locate these assets, financial investigators use a variety of sources. The more information provided to the investigators, the better. Your attorney can provide more information on how to locate hidden assets, as well as the cost of doing so.