Couples who have amassed a great deal of money during their marriage can be understandably nervous about what will happen to all these assets in the event of a divorce. Of course there are people who have a prenuptial agreement in place or enough separate assets that they don’t need to worry as much about the process of dividing significant assets, but it can still be a very stressful situation.
Unfortunately, some spouses make some misguided decisions when they feel financially threatened and try to hide assets in order to shield them from the divorce. This, however, is illegal and can only make matters worse. If you feel like your soon-to-be ex-spouse could be hiding assets, you will need to act quickly and get some help in order to uncover any undisclosed assets.
Too many people make the mistake of thinking they have a complete picture of their marital estate. Unfortunately, many people don’t, especially when they are not the ones paying bills, coordinating investments and monitoring account activities. It can be fairly simple to conceal money from someone who is not involved with the family finances.
For example, spouses may hide money by:
- Depositing a portion of a paycheck into a secret account
- Taking out large sums of money and giving it to friends or family members to hold on to
- Keeping one or multiple sources of income secret
- Failing to disclose property ownership
If you are not familiar with your family finances, you may have no idea that there is money missing or that an usually high amount of money is being withdrawn prior to the divorce.
But knowledge is power. By enlisting the help of attorneys and/or financial advisers to thoroughly research your financial situation, you can get a clear and comprehensive look at the assets that are eligible for distribution. You can also uncover assets that your spouse may have been hiding from you.
Divorce is difficult enough without the complications of complex asset division; when someone tries to shortchange their spouse out of money they may rightfully deserve, it can get even uglier. Having an attorney by your side to protect yourself and your future can be crucial.