When you file for divorce and choose to litigate your differences, you and your spouse must present the court with a list of all your assets. This means your joint assets, as well as those you consider to belong to just one of you.
The reason courts want to see this is so they can understand what is at stake. Only then can they determine how to divide it all between you. If they are unaware of a particular asset, they cannot include it in their consideration. Hence, some spouses omit assets from their list in an attempt to deceive the court and their spouse.
Moving the asset somewhere they think their spouse won’t find it
Some spouses place wealth in offshore accounts. Others transfer it into secretive trusts in states such as South Dakota. Others move their money into the virtual world by investing in cryptocurrency. All these options can be challenging to trace and difficult or even impossible for anyone but the account holder to access.
Engaging the help of friends or family
Divorcing spouses have been known to buy property in a friend or family member’s name, only moving it into their own name once the divorce is complete. Others transfer money to a friend, and if their spouse discovers the transaction, claim it was to pay back a debt.
Overpaying tax, knowing that the refund won’t arrive until the divorce is over is a tactic some dishonest spouses use. Asking an employer to delay a bonus or incentive payment until the divorce is finalized is another.
Hiding it in plain sight
Some people keep the deceit closer to home. They fail to disclose the true value of an antique or artwork on display in the house that they then keep. Or they hide money in a safe on marital property.
If you suspect that your spouse may be hiding assets from you, it’s wise to get help to investigate further before accusing them. If you find proof, a court should be willing to intervene to redress the matter.