Signs Your Spouse is Trying to Hide Money During Divorce
Some people probably consider whether to hide money during a divorce and how to do so. The answer is simple: Don’t! The consequences for doing so may be severe and could end up outweighing whatever benefit you hoped to achieve by keeping your spouse in the dark.
Don’t hide money from your spouse. Instead, use the collaborative process for your divorce. This future-focused approach can help save time and money as both sides work together to reach an agreement. Collaborative process requires a transparent exchange of information, and a neutral financial expert will review the information to help ensure that everything has been included.
The 10 warning signs that your spouse may be trying to hide money are:
You Don’t Have Access to Your Joint Bank Account(s)
If you spouse won’t share bank account information with you or give you access, they may be trying to hide something. It is your legal right to access joint bank account information at any time during your relationship or a divorce.
Uncommunicative About Finances
It is common for one spouse or the other to become uncommunicative about finances during a divorce, amongst other things. However, if you feel like your spouse is being secretive because they want to hide assets from you, ask them to let you see the information.
Separate P.O. Box
Did your spouse open a separate P.O. box different from your home address? This could be a sign your spouse doesn’t want you to see their mail or financial statements.
Deleting Financial Information
If your spouse is deleting financial information or programs from your computer such as QuickBooks, that’s a pretty good sign they are trying to keep you in the dark about finances. Another common way people try to delete financial information is by destroying or clearing out the hard drive of your computer.
Waiting to Collect Income
In some situations, one spouse or the other will wait to collect money (e.g. loan repayments, commissions or bonuses) until the divorce final. They may think that if the funds are received after the divorce, they don’t have to disclose or share, but this might not be the case.
Making Overpayments to the IRS
Sometimes a spouse will overpay the IRS or other creditors and wait to receive the refund until after the divorce is final. This keeps you from being aware of the income and may prevent you from being able to receive your fair share of that money.
Draining Joint Bank Accounts
If your spouse normally is frugal about their purchases but suddenly start making large purchases overnight, there might be fishy going on. They might be trying to buy items before the divorce occurs and then try to sell them off later after the divorce is final.
Transfers of Large Amounts of Money
It’s a huge red flag if you spouse suddenly starts transferring large amounts of money to a friend or family member before your divorce. They are most likely giving money to someone to hold for them until after the divorce, so it won’t be included in your pre-divorce assets.
Never Hide Money or Assets During a Divorce
You’re taking a huge risk by hiding money or assets from being included in the equitable distribution or community property settlement. You are likely to be caught red-handed during the discovery process and the sanctions can be severe. Your spouse might end up with 100% of the very asset you were trying to hide.
Good sense usually prevails, but if you think your spouse may be hiding assets, be sure to speak with an attorney about your best course of action.
- Pagliarini, Robert. “10 Easy Ways to Hide Assets From Your Spouse.” AOL.com, AOL, 15 July 2016, https://www.aol.com/article/finance/2014/04/01/divorce-hide-assets-spouse/20858336/.
- “How to Hide Your Money During a Divorce.” Fatherly, 22 June 2018, https://www.fatherly.com/love-money/how-to-hide-money-during-divorce/.
- Guillen, Lina. “Attempting to Hide Assets Before Divorce?” Www.divorcenet.com, Nolo, 9 Apr. 2013, https://www.divorcenet.com/resources/divorce/before-after-divorce/attempting-hide-assets-before-divorce.
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Collaborative Divorce is a Peaceful Divorce Option
Divorce litigation can be scary and emotionally draining for you, your spouse, and your children. But it doesn’t have to be that way with collaborative divorce. The collaborative process can result in a less expensive, more efficient, and less harmful outcome for everyone involved. One of the legal, financial, and communication professionals at Best Legal Choices can help you navigate this difficult time in your life.
OUR PROFESSIONALS CAN HELP WITH THE COLLABORATIVE PROCESS IN ARIZONA!
The collaborative divorce process is designed to help people who are willing to work together to make an agreement that benefits the family. Resources that help parents communicate effectively during this process can help them model appropriate behavior for their kids. With love and support, children can more effectively deal with their parents’ divorce. Contact one of the professionals at Best Legal Choices if you’re ready to take the first step toward starting your new life.
Mr. Juilfs is the founder and managing member of Fair Share Divorce. He began his career in the Financial Planning industry as a Financial Advisor with American Express Financial Advisors in 1997.