How to know if your spouse is hiding marital property and assets
Although couples who are going through a divorce are required to fully disclose all sources of income, some may try to hide assets from their spouses.
When negotiating the terms of a divorce settlement, couples are required to fully disclose all of their property and assets. Texas is a community property state, meaning that once a full disclosure is made, all marital property is split evenly in half between the two parties, according to Texas Statute. While this division of property method works well for some Texas couples who are going through a divorce, other couples may have a harder time determining who gets what in the divorce settlement.
In some cases a spouse may attempt to hide property or assets from the other spouse as a way to gain more money from the divorce. Although the property and assets may be considered marital and are eligible for distribution in a divorce case, they may be difficult to find if a spouse has carefully hidden the money away.
Ways of hiding property and assets
Whether the spouse in question is a business owner or simply takes care of the household finances, they have the ability to hide funds. Some people may tuck money away in various hidden bank accounts, including those in foreign countries where it is difficult to trace property and assets. Spouses may also falsify home or business account record books, and report a sudden deficit in earnings or revenue. Similarly, spouses may over report expenses and dramatize overhead while pocketing the additional funds.
People may transfer the deed to a property, title to a vehicle or sell items to a close friend or sibling for a period of time. Once the divorce is finalized, the spouse will then have access to the property and assets they had put in their friend or sibling’s name.
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Common signs of hidden assets
Although each divorce case is unique, there are some common signs that a spouse may be hiding assets. According to Forbes, spouses may:
- Own a private mailbox where they receive bills and financial statements
- Have full control over household and/or business financial information, including bank account activity and passwords
- Enlist the help of a financial advisor, who may be helping them hide the funds
- Make unusual purchases, such as property, recreational vehicles or art that may be resold at a later time
- Travels frequently and is quiet about where they are going or what they are doing
- Have an unnecessary number of bank accounts
People who are hiding money from their spouse may become pushy and request the spouse to sign certain documents pertaining to the finances as well.
Turn to an attorney for legal assistance
Going through a divorce can be extremely emotional, especially when you suspect that your spouse is not cooperating with the settlement process. If you have any doubts as to whether your spouse is being fully compliant in disclosing their finances, you may want to seek the legal counsel of a knowledgeable attorney in Texas. A lawyer may be able to investigate the sources of your spouse’s income and ensure that you are getting your fair share of the marital estate.