Is Your Spouse Hiding Money?

During a divorce, dividing up significant marital assets may bring out the worst in even the most amicable spouses.

In some high asset divorces, spouses attempt to move money so that they do not have to include it in the property division phase. The court does not look kindly on spouses who try to thwart an equitable division of assets.

Claiming business losses

Couples who run a business together already face unique challenges in dividing assets, but their setup may make it easier for one spouse to siphon off funds to hide. For example, one spouse may claim that the business is losing money. The other spouse may then believe that the business valuation will come in lower than anticipated. The claim also may shield attempts to move assets out of the business and into secret accounts.

Withdrawing cash frequently

Carrying cash is not in and of itself a sign that a spouse is hiding money. However, if the withdrawals occur more frequently than in past times in the relationship or there is no explanation as to why he or she needed the money, it may mean the money is going to unknown accounts. Some spouses trying to conceal money may do so in accounts opened in another person’s name, such as a sibling or trusted friend.

Whether a marriage is solid or headed to divorce, both spouses should understand their full financial picture. Although it can be difficult to uncover hidden assets, a spouse with a good understanding of the couple’s finances will be more alert to sudden changes.

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