When a couple decides to get divorced, the question of money can be incredibly awkward. Once the difference between community property and separate property is established, how to divide the community property equitably is the next step.
In some cases, spouses who don’t want to divide their assets that fall under community property may try to hide them before initiating a divorce. This is illegal. But how can you tell a spouse is trying to keep assets from you?
Here are 10 common signs that a spouse may be hiding assets:
- Financial programs (such as QuickBooks) have been deleted from a computer or a computer with financial data mysteriously crashes and “cannot be fixed”
- You spouse suddenly befriends a financial advisor
- Your spouse transfers significant assets to family or friends (these are typically transferred back after the divorce)
- Statements for multiple new accounts, which are used to shift funds, appear in the mail
- Bank accounts are set up in the name of a child or friend, which are used to hide funds
- Your spouse makes outlandish purchases of items that can be returned or sold later
- Your spouse takes out cash withdrawals on debit cards that don’t show up on statements
- Your spouse reports a mysterious decrease in income, but their expenses stay the same
- Your spouse attempts to pressure you into signing legal documents without time to study them
- Your spouse starts to vocally complain more about money and debt or suddenly become vague or secretive, in order to hide suspicion
There are many other tricks a spouse may use, but these signs are common tactics a spouse may use before initiating a divorce. You can watch for these signs, gather the evidence and discuss them with a divorce attorney, who can help you establish a case and ensure you receive a fair division of the community property from your marriage.