Getting a divorce is almost always excruciatingly difficult for both parties involved, but it’s even harder when you fundamentally distrust your soon-to-be-former spouse. Creative thinking, document triple checking, and financial records searching are the keys to unlocking assets that your spouse is hiding from you and the court in divorce proceedings.
A lot of people enter into marriage with some degree of hesitation. This is mostly normal, but when a vast web of financial side dealing and secret saving emerge from those feelings of hesitation, something is probably off with the relationship.
Nevertheless, that uncertainty does often lead one partner or the other, or both, to stow away some assets secretly, with the knowledge that in divorce court they will be splitting everything right down the middle.
If you’ve already gotten to that stage but you suspect that your partner is hiding a lot of money or any other things of value, you had better find it or be able to prove its existence if you want to be entitled to your half of the total assets.
Some of the ways people hide money from their partners are:
- Stow cash away somewhere, even hidden in your own house
- Hold stock or mutual funds in different accounts
- Open up a second or third credit card
- Create an online bank account
- Send part of their income to a secret account
- Keep money in a friend, colleague, or relative’s account
- Do work that you’re not aware of
Follow The Money
This sounds simple, but it involves quite a bit of complexity as well as thinking outside the box. There are a lot of ways people can hide money, and it’s always a million times easier to set up an elaborate financial scheme than it is to uncover one, especially if you’re not sure it even exists. Start with the basics, which includes everything that you own together. Scour your joint bank account record for unusual deposits, withdrawals, or transfers.
Checking tax returns is another surefire way to follow the money. It could very well be that your spouse is willing to lie to you about the secret income they have stowed away to buy themselves a boat, but it doesn’t mean they’re willing to risk prison time by lying to the federal government. Really spend the time to scour your joint tax returns (if filing together) for tax deductions or expenses that don’t make sense or that you otherwise can’t account for.
Next, look for unexplained receipts around your [former] shared living space, particularly if they’re paid for with a credit card number you are unfamiliar with. This is a huge red flag, as it suggests that your partner may have set up a secret credit card or bank account on the side to funnel money into and use for secret expenses.
Credit cards and bank accounts require physical addresses in the US, so if you find letters addressed to your shared home or partner’s work or additional address with company headings you’re not familiar with or in your partner’s name with banks you don’t know they have an account with, that could be crucial evidence.
Put Yourself In Their Shoes
Investigative work requires creative thinking. Your spouse is ideally your best friend, often someone who you know better than anyone else. Now, this can make divorce all the more devastating, especially if you think you’ve been living a lie this whole time, but take the knowledge you have of your partner and think critically. If I were them, where would I hide my assets?
There are lengthy articles all over the internet about how to hide your assets, and most of them are practical lists of advice revolving around the notion that following a divorce, people want to have a financial backup plan that allows them to start over with a clean slate. Thinking about where they would go or who they would meet are good first steps towards identifying where and with whom some of those hidden assets or secret credit card addresses might be.
Get Proper Counsel
This can all be a pretty stressful and raising experience, particularly when the discovery of hidden assets uncovers far more complex and upsetting stories, often involving a deeper web of lies. Don’t try to do it all by yourself. An attorney can help with dealing with a spouse lying about crucial aspects of your divorce, including lying about their assets.
If you are interested in even more lifestyle-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.