Trust is a terribly fragile thing, and it isn’t uncommon for the trust a couple shares to be shattered completely on the way to a divorce. That can often leave one member of a couple wondering, “What is my spouse hiding?”
Frankly, it could be plenty. Some spouses are tremendously reluctant when it comes time to disclose all of their financial assets so that there can be a fair division of the marital property. While you can hire a forensic accountant and get your attorney’s help to find some of the assets, it’s also possible to track down a few things yourself.
Here are some of the ways that investigators say spouses are fond of hiding the marital assets from each other:
It isn’t unusual for a spouse to suddenly “remember” a debt to an old friend or close relative that had to be repaid. In reality, they may just be putting the money into that person’s hands for safekeeping until the divorce is over.
Is your spouse self-employed? Is it the kind of business where cash tends to come by in large quantities? If so, he or she wouldn’t be the first business owner to quietly siphon the cash away in order to reduce the company’s apparent profits.
Sometimes, a spouse will funnel cash into expensive items, like art, hobby equipment, coins and jewelry — and later claim they aren’t worth nearly as much.
Depending on your spouse’s position with the company, he or she works for, there may be some hefty stock options or bonuses due — and waiting until after your divorce to be paid so that he or she doesn’t have to include the income in any support or property calculations.
So, what can you do if you suspect that your spouse is hiding income or assets? Gather whatever evidence you can, and make sure that your attorney knows as soon as possible. Don’t tell your spouse what you think you know, however. The last thing you want to do is give any indication that you’re looking.