Michael E. Eisenberg Attorney at Law
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Is your spouse hiding assets in divorce?

As a child, the adults in your life may have taught you to always to see the best in others. Also, your parents or grandparents, even teachers may have also advised you to keep your suspicions in check and never to assume that someone is up to no good, especially if you don't have evidence to suggest it. At the same time, those who love you may have also instilled confidence and taught you to protect your rights and be proactive against injustice.  

You likely never expected those lessons to hit so close to home as they have since you decided to divorce. You hoped you'd be able to negotiate a fair and agreeable settlement, especially since you made it clear that your children's best interests are the priority. However, you suspect your spouse is trying to give you the short end of the stick regarding division of marital property and are wondering what to do about it. You'll be glad to know there are support resources available to help rectify the situation. 

Gather evidence 

If you plan to make a formal accusation against your soon-to-be former spouse regarding a hidden asset problem, you'll need to be able to show the court evidence that may substantiate your claims. The following list includes signs that a spouse may be trying to keep assets from being subject to property division proceedings: 

  • Many times, hidden asset evidence will show up in jointly owned bank accounts. Did your spouse withdraw money without you knowing? 
  • Keeping an eye on the postal mail may help uncover hidden asset trouble. Is your spouse suddenly receiving bank statements from an account you didn't know existed? 
  • If your spouse has given money to a relative or friend with the explanation that it is a loan, but you didn't know a loan had transpired, it's definitely cause for further investigation.
  • Did your spouse overpay the Internal Revenue Service at tax time? This is a common means of hiding assets in divorce. 
  • If your spouse purchases luxury items and you think he or she is understating their worth, you may want to seek an official valuation of the items, to be sure. Spouses often use this trick as a way to hide assets because they can later resell the items.
  • If your spouse was slated to receive a bonus or incentive pay at work and suddenly asked the employer to delay the payment, this may be a major red flag that could signify a hidden asset problem. 

It's understandable that your feelings would be hurt if your spouse were trying to keep you from getting what is rightfully yours in divorce. Beyond that, however, it's important to remember that hiding assets in divorce is illegal. If you try to remain as calm as possible and take advantage of available support resources, you can protect your rights and take legal steps to set the record straight.

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