When a spouse starts thinking about getting a divorce, he or she may try to hide assets. There are dozens of ways to do this, especially when the spouse owns a business. Hiding community property or transferring title to it without informing the other spouseis unethical and underhanded. If this activity comes to the attention the court in a divorce case, the offending spouse could be punished.

How Can You Tell When A Spouse Is Trying To Hide Assets?

These are some of the signs that a spouse is trying to disguise or hide community assets:

  • Bank and financial account statements are no longer being delivered to your home.
  • Bank or financial account statements are now being delivered electronically, and you do not have access to your spouse’s email account.
  • Your spouse has multiple bank accounts.
  • Your spouse has multiple cellphones.
  • Your spouse purchases small items such as coins, stamps or collectibles for which there is a ready re-sale market. This can happen slowly over time.
  • Your business owner spouse hires new employees, but without a corresponding increase in the business’s revenues. These could actually be phantom employees.
  • Over payments to credit card companies, the IRS or other creditors. Your spouse may do this thinking that he or she could get a refund after the divorce.
  • A sudden decrease in income. This could indicate that your spouse has chosen to defer salary, bonuses or commissions until after the divorce.
  • Your spouse is evasive when you ask questions about finances.

Through the use specialists such as a private investigator or forensic accountant, it may be possible to locate the assets. In a divorce action, the court may penalize the offending spouse by awarding a disproportionate share of the couple’s community assets to the other spouse.